WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) The Union Missionary Baptist Crusaders drill team is well-known for representing Waterloo in major competitions.
The Crusaders will be among several top-flight drill teams which will battle for a $3,000 top prize this summer, when Marching Against The Darkness hosts a two- day event, July 7 and 8 in downtown Waterloo.
The event kicks off Friday, July 7, with the Excellence Expo at the Waterloo Convention Center. While the event is free, registration is required. The registration deadline for this free event is coming up on Friday, June 2.
MATD Executive director, Darvel Givens, says, "We provide a performing arts platform that challenges disconnected youths to achieve excellence in the competition and in life. So, that has a twofold meaning. Our excellence expo challenges them to achieve excellence in life, while we have a college and career fair, leadership seminars and art workshop. The competition challenges them to achieve excellence on the competition floor, so, Saturday we have teams from about 10 different states compete for cash and trophies."
Darvel encourages young people to participate in this free, local event at the Waterloo Convention Center. "The Excellence Expo will be Friday, July 7th, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. It's a free event. It's for sixth to 12th graders that are going in the fall of 2023 and recent 12th graders that will be graduating in May.
Darvel adds: "There are three major components. There is a College and Career Fair. we'll have 50 to 70 vendors. Tt's not just colleges, not just four- year institutions, but we'll have military, certification and license programs, so that young people can understand the variety of options they have when they graduate high school."
"Then, there's the leadership seminar. They will be talking about different things, such as what are the soft skills you need upon graduating high school."
And, there's more, he says. "Then the fun portion. We will have step dance, color guard, and drum. They will take the soft skills and put them into action in a fun manner and the youths will display those in the afternoon>"
Darvel says on Saturday, July 8, the drill team competition kicks off at Young Arena. Learn more about the Excellence Expo and the Drill team competition on this week's edition of The Steele Report.