CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — Illini Football’s 400 biggest supporters are headed down to sunny Florida. The Marching Illini and Illini Cheerleading Team are en route to Tampa for the ReliaQuest Bowl.

Nine coach buses left campus Wednesday morning to start the journey.

They’re driving 20 hours on Wednesday, stopping in Georgia for the night, and then finishing the drive on Thursday. Barry Houser, the director of Athletic Bands, said the bus drivers aren’t allowed to drive through the night anymore.

But, it’s a pit stop he’s ready to take in order to get to the final destination. Houser had to work through many logistics and details to get the group from point A to point B.

“Each day there’s a variety of different bowl events we’ve got going on, so working those logistics out, where we’re gonna have rehearsal at Clearwater High School, and working those details. It’s all worth it because it’s going to be extremely exciting,” Houser said.

He added that they’re doing more than just performing at the game. They’ll have a beach bash on Clearwater Beach with Mississippi State’s band on Dec. 30, and another battle of the bands on Dec. 31 at Busch Gardens.

“Then, we’ll have another performance in Ybor City for the New Year’s Eve parade, and then there will be a pep rally after that downtown Ybor City,” Houser said.

Jan. 1, the band will practice in the morning and then head to Busch Gardens for a free day.

For game day on Jan. 2, Houser said the band will perform at three different pep rallies throughout Raymond James Stadium, in addition to the pregame and halftime shows.

To follow the band throughout the week, follow the Marching Illini on social media to find them at each stop.