The festival offered a chance for the bands to take center stage. For the bigger bands like Jackson, Cape Girardeau Central and Perryville, the festival affords them the chance to step out of the football team's shadow.
For smaller schools, the festival is the only time they get to play outdoors in front of a crowd.
"I think it's fun being able to play on a football field," said Travis Randolph, a senior from Oran. "I think it's cool to play in front of a crowd that big."
Oran didn't spend a great amount of time preparing a routine for the field portion of the festival, largely because the school doesn't have a football team, and therefore no half-time shows. They had to make use of an unmarked baseball field behind the school to practice.
Jackson, meanwhile, takes the field programs seriously. The school has the largest band in the region. There are 181 sophomores, juniors and seniors, plus a separate 105-member freshman band.
"The festival is fun because it's at the peak of the season, about the time we get the show down to a science," said senior snare drummer Derek King.
Jackson's program this year has taken on a Latin American flair. The Indians play three tunes and incorporate some creative steps into the mix. The band practices one hour every weekday and the last song is four pages long.
Lacey Keller, a senior trombonist, said the routine is her favorite program since she's been in high school. She's proud of the band's talent.
"I enjoy showing us off," she said. "Hey, we're Jackson."
Added flutist Lauren Dambach, "Instead of the focus being on football, it's our day. It's our band."
The band members have had a chance to incorporate some of their own movements into the program. Each section created its own dance sequence for several beats during the show. Keller said her section picked up a few ideas from Southeast Missouri State University's band.
Scott Vangilder, one of four band directors at the high school, said this group has been good to work with because it knows how to have fun and knows when to get serious.
"We have great senior leaders," he said.
The festival began with a parade at 4 p.m. and then finished on the football field in the evening. The performances are not judged.
Sikeston and Poplar Bluff also held festivals on Tuesday. Sikeston organized a festival largely because Jackson's grew too big.