For some people, Saturday home games are special because of the football teams squaring off at Beaver Stadium.
For others, they are all about the Penn State Blue Band.
If you fall in the latter group, the Georgia State game could be your favorite weekend of the year as the fourth annual Band Jam takes place Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Georgia State’s band isn’t coming to town, but that doesn’t mean there will be a shortage of trombones and twirlers.
Band Jam started in 2014 after the university discontinued the Tailgreat event.
“It’s just a really exciting opportunity to get to bring these high school students into the Bryce Jordan Center and let them see what game day is like. I know when I came to Penn State, I had never been to a Penn State football game before,” said Blue Band spokesman Connor Soboslay.
This year’s lineup includes high schools from Hollidaysburg, Montoursville, Susquenita, Shikellamy, Everett, Saucon Valley, East Pennsboro, Montgomery, Dunmore, Wyoming Valley West, Oley Valley and Lewisburg, with 800 band members participating.
The primary purpose of the event is just to let people enjoy the band, but it has an added bonus as a recruitment tool.
“It does sort of let high school students see more of the personal side of what it’s like to be with the Blue Band. It does let them see if they want to join,” Soboslay said.
For locals, the draw can be the ability to see the band without buying a ticket to a game.
“Ever since we started, it’s just been getting a bigger and bigger crowd every year. People have been getting more and more excited,” Soboslay said.
Things kick off at 5 p.m., a later start than most Band Jam events because of the night game. The Blue Band will play it’s pregame music before opening the floor to each of the high school groups to play a selection. The Blue Band will then close things out with their halftime show for the Georgia State game.
“We are very excited to have so many talented high schools joining us...,” Blue Band President Dominic Ruggerio said.