PALMER — For years, Colony High School fielded the only marching band in Alaska.
The state's climate doesn't exactly make for hospitable outdoor music into the fall football season.
But behold: Now there are at least six. Last year, Houston High School joined Colony's vaunted Thee Northern Sound band in the marching ranks. This year, Palmer, Wasilla and Joe Redington Senior high schools started programs.
Kenai Central High School also fields a band with a large drumline.
Four of the five Valley groups — Redington couldn't make it — gathered at a marching band invitational hosted by Colony on Wednesday evening.
Four schools at an Alaska marching band celebration is twice as many as the state's ever seen.
"This is a big deal for us," Colony band director Jamin Barton said in an email before the event.
Correction: This story was updated to add Kenai Central High School's band.