AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A group of Amarillo firefighters will be representing our city overseas thanks to their musical talents.
It's tradition for fire departments to be represented by a bagpipe band, and since 2013 a group of firefighters in Amarillo has been honoring that tradition.
On Tuesday, Amarillo Firefighters Pipes and Drums will be on their way to Cork, Ireland, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, Ireland's independence day.
"I was pretty proud that we got invited," said Beau Hargrave, pipe major and founder of the group. "It's an opportunity for us to go over and meet our brother firemen from another country and celebrate their heritage, and know where we came from because that's where the fire service originally started was from the Scottish and Irish immigrants."
The group is a nonprofit organization that performs at most services honoring fallen fire and law enforcement officers in Amarillo.
They've relied on donations to make the trip possible.
"We're going to take eight of our guys from here in Amarillo," said Hargrave. "We all took vacation and we're paying for the trip out of our own pockets to go represent the city."
Hargrave and his group will play in several parades and celebrations, including two St. Patrick's Day parades in Cork and Blarney, and meet the president of Ireland.
"We're going to take an Amarillo flag, a state flag, and an American flag and we're going to do an exchanging of flags on the steps of [Cork's] city hall."
The bagpipe players and drummers will be dressed in traditional garb.
"The tartan, which is the plaid of our kilts, is actually registered through the government of Scotland as the City of Amarillo," said Hargrave. "We're the only ones in the world that have it."
Around 100 pipe and drum groups from around the world will join together to celebrate over the next two weeks.
"It's a big deal," said Hargrave. "It's their 100th anniversary and they're very proud of it. It's a huge honor to be able to go and represent the city that we work for and support and believe in, and go and open borders and shake hands with our people across the pond."
Follow the Amarillo Firefighters Pipe and Drums on Facebook to keep up with their adventures in Ireland.