On Saturday, August 10, the Hopatcong Marching Chiefs played the National Anthem and Happy Birthday for Smokey Bear’s 75th Birthday Celebration at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.
The celebration, organized by the New Jersey Forrest Fire service was held overlooking the southern tip of Manhattan with abundant sunshine and beautiful temperatures, complete with food trucks, bounce houses and other activities.
When Smokey made his appearance at the event, a smaller ensemble of Chiefs played Smokey the Bear’s Theme Song, a campfire song originally made famous in the 50’s by Gene Autry and Eddie Arnold.
Junior Drum Major Alyssa Alvarez arranged the song for ukuleles, percussion, flute and trombone. It was such a hit with a ranking official from the US Forrest Service that the Chiefs are being considered to participate in a future national campaign to reacquaint the public with an updated version of the song.
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