WEST ORANGE, NJ - The colors were flying at the Seventh Annual Color Guard Show hosted recently by West Orange High School.

The show featured 24 color guards from New York and New Jersey.

“The competition each year is a fundraiser for the color guard to attend the World Guard International Championships in Dayton, Ohio in April,” said the West Orange color guard coordinator Erin McClure. In order to pay for the costly trip, the color guard hosts this showcase and raises money from ticket sales and from the snack bar.

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Even though West Orange was the host their color guard only performed an exhibition and was not judged.

“Since we were the host of the show we did not compete,” said McClure. "It's considered rude to compete on our home turf so therefore we were only in exhibition.”

However West Orange was judged at the recent Hillsborough High School Show, where they took second place in the Scholastic A Class.

Snow rolled in the night before the competition, which caused some minor problems, but the show still went on as planned.

“The weather made for a stressful morning trying to make a decision on whether to host or not," McClure said. "We checked many different weather reports and ultimately made the decision to go forth with the competition.” Ultimately, only four color guards had to withdraw due to the weather.

All 24 schools that attended were placed into four different groups: Scholastic Novice Class, Scholastic Regional A Class, Scholastic A Class, and Scholastic Open Class. The groups were judged on movement - how well they move and dance; equipment - how well the guards handle their sabers and rifles; and artistry - how well the group connected with their audience and executed their theme. Of the 24 color guards, Toms River North won the Scholastic Novice Class, Matawan Enigma won the Scholastic Regional A Class, Mineola Red from New York won the Scholastic A Class and South Brunswick won the Scholastic Open Class.

“We had a pretty good-size audience, our student and parent volunteers staffed the event for many hours, working the kitchen, admission table, helping busses and vehicles outside and guiding the color guards through the building,” said McClure. “This event could not have happened without the great work from the student and parent volunteers.”