Hats off indeed.
Anyone driving on United States 40 Saturday afternoon knew something had happened.
Traffic had slowed. Fire trucks and police vehicles were all over the place.
And a few Clay Community School Corp. school buses were on the road as well.
The Northview Marching Knights received the welcome of all welcomes Saturday after winning the Indiana State School Music Association Class B State Title.
Following the special escort through town, fans, marchers and all were invited to the NHS auditorium, to watch two videos of Saturday's performance.
As NHS band director Bob Medworth told the crowd he was "speechless," he gave the microphone to assistant band director Rusty Bottomly. Ruth Ann Medworth then addressed the crowd.
"The whole town owns this championship," she said.
Then, Bob Medworth finally had some words to say.
"You did a very, very good job," he told the band members. "You beat a very, very good band."
Northview had edged Greenwood. Of the six judges in the contest, four had Northview first, while one had the band second. One also had the Marching Knights fourth overall.
"You were better than anyone else today," Medworth said.
The last state title the Marching Knights won came in 2004. Now, Northview has captured seven titles in the years Medworth has served as director. Brazil High School also captured a state title under Medworth.
Following addressing the crowd, Medworth said the consistency he hoped the Marching Knights would attain came through in Saturday's performance.
"I thought we were probably good enough," he said. "I think overall, we were definitely better than last week."
Medworth said as the countdown began during the awards ceremony, he felt the Knights were in for a surprise.
"I was pretty sure I knew," he said.
He said after Northview was declared the 2008 champion, the celebration began.
"We were jumping up and down," he said. "I think the school should be pretty proud. The kids, parents and staff are all great. They deserve it a ton. Good things happen to good people."
Greenwood was second while Jasper finished third, followed by Fort Wayne Northside, Plainfield, Dekalb/Waterloo, Concord/Elkhart, New Castle Chrysler, Bloomington North and Northridge/Middlebury.
Clay City also competed in the Class D State Finals Saturday, placing 10th overall. Forest Park/Ferdinand won the title while Lewis Cass was second and Tri-West placed third.