Thousands of performers and tens of thousands of their fans and supporters have begun descending on the Hoosier State as the 40th World Championships of Drum Corps International gets back underway today in Michigan City, Ind.

After the preliminary competition for Open and International Class groups was rained out on Monday, Aug. 8, all 18 corps will be back in action today for the Open Class Finals at Ames Field. All of the eyes in the world of marching music will turn to Indianapolis later in the week, as the World Class units move into Lucas Oil Stadium for the later rounds of intensely competitive action.

"This season has quite possibly been the most thrilling in many, many years," said Dan Acheson, Executive Director and CEO of Drum Corps International. "There has been remarkable competitive excitement throughout the entire spectrum of performing ensembles, and fans have been treated to spectacular performances throughout this year's 115-event tour. We have no doubt that the final days of competition will be unpredictable, extraordinary and captivating.

"The box office is buzzing as drum corps fans, former marching members, and patrons of the arts from every corner of the map are busy planning their last-minute pilgrimages to reunite with old friends and come together here to witness the excitement for themselves. If you are still thinking about joining us for the World Championship festivities, stop reading and start packing! The fun is already underway!"

With near-perfect weather forecasts for the week looking to be delightful for the loyal throngs making their way to the Circle City, the conversation among seasoned fans of drum corps has turned toward the gigantic retractable stadium roof which serves as the centerpiece of the state-of-the-art home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.

"We've had conversations with a good number of the competing corps, some of which were very passionate over the past few seasons about opening the roof and others who were in favor of keeping it closed regardless of external weather conditions," said Acheson. "After several years of sometimes contentious debate, we all now seem to be in agreement that ensuring a stable performance environment for the three days in Lucas Oil Stadium is in the best interests of all concerned; therefore, the roof will remain closed for all three days of competition and the acoustical fabric will be set the same way to as to ensure identical conditions for all of the World Championships events. The one thing that will make it sound even better would be playing to a full house; so come on out to Indy to be a part of it."

View the complete schedule of 2011 DCI World Championship events.

Buy tickets to World Championship events.