Phantom Regiment is in Macomb.
The world-renowned national champion drum and bugle corps will hold rehearsals on Western Illinois’ campus for the next three weeks, as it prepares for its national tour. The drum corps is made up of 200 members and will spend the days practicing every detail.
The group’s daily rehearsals are open to the public, attracting a lot of people to watch one of the nation’s most known corps.
"It is expected, for just the corps alone, to have an impact on our local economy," Executive Director of Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce Kathy Waters said.
While the group is in town, Macomb is preparing for a boost in the economy.
"They will typically, at a minimum, buy something to eat even if it’s a cup of coffee and a diet coke," Waters said. "Or they will buy gas while they’re here. Banks often notice, when we have crowds like this that, ATM’s are empty the next morning. So people are getting cash out, and when people are getting cash out, they’re spending it."
While the city of Macomb is excited to welcome in Phantom Regiment in hopes of boosting the local economy, Western Illinois is also excited and hopes to make this a permanent event.
"We’re just extremely fortunate to have a group like this here in Macomb," Western Illinois Director of Bands Matt Thomas said. "The hope from both our side and their side, is more of a permanent arrangement, where they’ll come down every year for their summer training camp and possibly move their educational camps down here, which would bring in another 100 national students to come study here."
Phantom Regiment’s spring training will continue until June 9 and a show is planned for June 8. Details will be released later.