TALLADEGA, Ala. – After much controversy, the Talladega College band is set to leave the school Wednesday and head to Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, but not before the city sends them off with a bang.

City Manager Patrick Bryant told SylacaugaNews.com the City of Talladega will hold a celebration for the band at the courthouse square before the band leaves town. According to Bryant, the band will board buses at the college around 10 a.m., and head to The Square. At The Square band members get off the buses where the celebration is set to begin around noon. Speeches will be given by city officials and Talladega College President Billy C. Hawkins.

After the speeches, band members will reload the buses and be escorted out of the city by police.

“This is a historic opportunity for the students to be a part of a civic ceremony,” stated Hawkins. “It’s simply the opportunity of a lifetime.”

When Hawkins made the decision to let the band participate in the parade at Trump’s inauguration he knew he would be met with backlash. He also knew he would have to raise money in order to fund the trip, so a GoFundMe account was started for the band.

The backlash from alumni and others led to a Hawkins’ appearance on the O’Reilly Factor, a nationally televised political talk show, where the school’s GoFundMe account took off.

The goal for the account was set at $75,000. As of Tuesday night, the account has received over $600,000 in donations. President Hawkins said he is really pleased with the support shown by O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly and his supporters.

Hawkins told SylacaugaNews.com his school will use the excess money to go towards band uniforms, new instruments, scholarships and a new band practice facility.

With so much money coming in there are sure to be issues. Hawkins warned of fraudulent GoFundMe accounts that say they are for his band, but in reality are people trying to “pirate money from the school.” Hawkins warned those who wish to donate to the band to make sure they are donating to the correct account.

The Talladega College Band will perform just after the inauguration of Donald J. Trump which will begin Friday at 11 a.m.

Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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