We’re off and running with the celebration of the century – at least until 2056 comes around!

We’ve kicked off the year-long celebration with a chapter-a-week presentation of Jim Wren’s memoir “My Corps”. Jim has lived all 50 years of our history, and his take is certainly enlightening and entertaining, and has already inspired a loyal readership – with a good bit of fan mail too!

Now…please keep in mind that when Phantom Regiment says this party is for everyone, we mean it. Phantom Regiment considers anyone who has been an active part of the organization to be an “alumnus”. Former – and current – marching members, past and current teaching staff, designers, support staff and yes, even those management folks…we’re all part of the “phamily”.

And it doesn’t stop there. Our fans have stuck with us through all these years, supporting us with their wallets, inspiring us with heart-felt fan letters and letting us know how much they love us each time we take the field. Our loyal fans are most definitely invited to this party!

Make no mistake; this is a celebration for everyone who’s ever enjoyed drum corps the Phantom Regiment way. Here are a few ways we’ll be marking this milestone year:

Be sure to order your copy of the once-in-a-lifetime 50th anniversary coffee-table style picture book. The publishers tell us it will be ready for delivery in late April.

The 2-hour 50th Anniversary Anthology DVD (with footage from the corps earliest days and interviews with corps personalities spanning all 50 years) is now in the editing stages and will be ready for delivery well before the summer tour kicks off.

Look for a debut of the 50th Anniversary logo soon…you’ll see it on shirts, caps, patches and pins.

MARK YOUR CALENDERS NOW FOR THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION WEEKEND JULY 8 AND 9, 2006. Come home to Rockford and enjoy a Saturday afternoon “Thank You Rockford” concert featuring this years edition of Phantom Regiment, then stay for the Saturday evening Alumni Reunion Party at Forest Hills Lodge.

Spend the night in town and on Sunday head on over to Boylan High School for the 31st annual SHOW OF SHOWS, where we’ll not only continue to celebrate our 50 years, but also give important recognition to the 1996 DCI Championship corps as they celebrate a very special 10 year anniversary! Spend the day at Boylan catching up with friends, tailgating and watching a rehearsal run-through before the competition begins.

And did we mention the amazing line up for this years Show of Shows? Your Phantom Regiment will be joined by both the Blue Devils AND The Cadets. Joining these 3 biggees, and for the first time ever in Rockford, Carolina Crown comes to town. Add in the Crossmen, Colts, Capital Regiment and Colt Cadets and you’ve got one great night of drum corps! Stay tuned for more details and ticket information for both the Saturday evening Alumni Reunion Party and Show of Shows.

Last, but not least, the DCI World Championships comes to our backyard (Madison) and we’ll take one last chance to celebrate our 50 years while cheering on the members of the corps as we make our 33rd consecutive finals night appearance! Expect the always popular DCI week alumni party to be bigger than ever. Stay tuned for more details as they come.

What else is in store? Look for some new and exciting perks for 2006 Booster Club members and feel free to join in on special fan nights at tour stops across the nation. Follow one of DCI’s legendary drum corps as they celebrate 50 years as an organization with another “instant classic” program.

And to think it all began with a hornline of 6 young kids in a back room at the downtown armory….