My Tik Tok "For You Page" is full of two things... oddities, and music. My parents are both band teachers, and I grew up around marching bands, so naturally, a lot of Drum Corps and marching band tik toks come through my feed.

ONE tik tok, however, posted by @WeatherWithWill, caught my eye as both musical, AND odd. It's the best band you'll hear coming from miles away, without even playing a note - the Holland High Marching Band, and their wooden shoes.

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@weatherwithwill The Holland High Marching Band is the only band in the US to march in wooden shoes!🇳🇱🇳🇱 #marchingband #hollandmichigan #tuliptime #band #dutch #holland #woodenshoes ♬ original sound - Will Haenni

This might be the coolest thing I've seen as a marching band aficionado. I remember forming ranks, lining up, and having to stand at attention for HOURS in those uncomfortable, black, heeled marching shoes. They were SO uncomfortable, and I can't imagine wooden shoes are any MORE uncomfortable, but at least they're cool looking, ya know?

Also, as a director, it's MUCH easier to keep your band in step. If you hear one, loud "KLOP," then you know you've done your job right. If it sounds like the knights from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," then you've got some issues. But judging by the tik tok I saw, they don't have that problem.

This is really something unique that I'm astonished I've never seen before. There was a band in Kansas I knew that did it once, but it was a publicity stunt. This is legit, how the Holland Marching Band does things, and I'm impressed.

I am curious, though, if it's raining, or snowing (let's face it, we're in Michigan), and the ground is wet, do those shoes slide around? I have enough trouble walking straight wearing normal shoes. I can't imagine wearing wooden shoes, AND playing my instrument at the same time.

Good news is, I have an opportunity soon to see this up close. The Holland "Tulip Time" Festival is May 7-15th, and those iconic wooden shoes are making their return after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two chances to see them, Thursday, May 12th in the Kinderparade, and then Saturday May 14th in the larger Volksparade.

I cannot wait to see the Marching Dutch in action with my own eyes.

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