Drum Corps International
Recurring June bugs in Otsego

Recurring June bugs in Otsego

by Drum Corps International

This week, we'll be devoting some editorial attention to drum corps events and memories that happen and have happened in the Northern U.S. Karen Newell, who helped run the Otsego, Mich., Beauty in the Brass shows, submitted this recollection: The recurring June bugs at the Otsego Beauty and the Brass shows were really quite unique. Due to the time we had our shows (early to mid-June), it was June bug season. They come out for only a week or two during this time of the year. They are quite harmless but very annoying brown bugs about an inch long. They come out at night for 15-20 minutes in very heavy swarms. Unfortunately, this was usually about 9 p.m., during the best part of our shows. Some of the adjudicators stood on the top of the press box and were totally engulfed by the bugs. No amount of hitting, etc., would deter them from swarming around a person. Bug bombs were useless. Fortunately, they did not bother the corps or the audience (except maybe a few near the top rows). One of the judges had a hood on his jacket and pulled it tight so only his eyes and nose were visible, then continued to swing his clipboard at the bugs all the while never missing a beat from the corps! The corps that practiced in Otsego the night before a show would have problems with the bugs but knew they'd be gone if they would just take a break for 15-20 minutes. It's really something to see them come out from the trees in a dark mass and then be gone again a short time later.    The judges that would come back to Otsego always remembered the bugs and would be prepared to "fight the bugs" at 9:00. We would take them down into the main press box for that time and then back to the top after the siege.

From what we know, Otsego was the only show that had a June bug problem. When we moved the show to Jenison and Portage, the bugs did not come along.