Thursday, November 22, 2007

macy s thanksgiving day parade

Thanksgiving can be a cornucopia of color, but green will be queen at the 81st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Workers spent the day filling the 12 giant balloons to be featured during Thursday� parade.

Dozens are scheduled to perform, including Good Charlotte, Menudo, Dolly Parton and the Radio City Rockettes as well as some of our own local celebrities.

Six dancers who are members of the Temple Kittens Drill Team will take part in the big finale.

Their performance to 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' will be at the end of the parade, right before Santa makes his debut.

You can catch the Kittens?performance and
One of Circus World Museum's most spectacular circus wagons will play a featured role in the Macy 's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, sponsored, appropriately, by a circus.

The wagon is one of the museum's prize possessions, part of a colorful collection of antique restored circus parade wagons. Known as the Ringling Bros. United States Band Tableau, it was built by Bode Wagon Co. of Cincinnati in 1903.

For the Thanksgiving Day parade, the 5-ton-plus wagon will need the locomotion of eight Percheron horses driven by Myron Layton, of Standfordville, N.Y. Layton 's hitch has pulled the heavy wagons in several Great Circus Parades in the past, according to a news release from the Circus World Museum in Baraboo.

The wagon, which was loaded Tuesday for the trip to New York, will be sponsored by the Big Apple Circus, a 30-year tradition and "a soiree of scintillation" in New York City.

A troupe of circus musicians led by Charles Schlarbaum will occupy the wagon.

The parade, which is set to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, will be broadcast on NBC television, WMTV (Ch.15) in Madison. For those hoping to see this wagon, it should be on the broadcast at 10:29 a.m., said Big Apple spokesman Joel Dein. The wagon will trail behind the Pillsbury Doughboy float, Dein said.

The wagon was designed as one of several with world power commemoration, this one representing the United States. According to a museum description, the "rolling masterpiece " features hand-carved decorations focused on the allegorical "Goddess of Liberty," flanked by Native American figures.

The 22-foot wagon was used by Ringling Bros. in street parades through 1918. According to a museum catalog, the last time it appeared in a circus parade was in New York on April 21, 1923: "The circus staged a street procession in support of the Mayor 's Committee of Women, which was generating monetary support for the Milk Fund."

It was restored by museum craftsmen in 1991. The 200 circus wagons and vehicles at the museum in Baraboo account for two-thirds of the circus wagons in existence.
Some local teenagers were on the streets of New York City at 1:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. That's when the Concord High School Band had their dress rehearsal for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Multimedia Watch The Video Concord students beat out hundreds of marching bands from across the country to get what many of them are calling the opportunity of a lifetime.

They're rooted in tradition, pride and lots of hard work. Students say they've been practicing three or four days a week.

"I just hope I can remember all my steps," said senior trombone player Tyler Stevens.

There's also pressure in other sections of the band. Sophomore drummer Brandon Fry said his job is one of the most important.

"If you start slowing down or speeding up, the band goes with you so you've got to keep the time," Fry said.

Band members agree working together is crucial.

"They always tell us that in a math class it doesn't matter if you get a bad grade," said Tyler Stevens. "But in a band if you don't work at it, it really shows for everyone."

Senior band members say it's their biggest performance in four years. The 150 Marching Minutemen in Thursday's parade earned it. They applied to play in this year's parade more than a year ago. The Concord High School band is one of 10 high school bands chosen. Judges picked them from more than 300 bands across the country.

The students taped their Macy's routine back in September, then sent it to New York for a critique.

"The production crew looks at it, decides if it's what they need to have and whether it works," said Associate Band Director Scott Spradling. "Some groups they look at it and say, 'This is not good, you need to go back and change some of these things.'"

Now, all their practice and hard work is being put to the test. Students know being on national TV is a pretty big deal.

"You always hear about these kind of opportunities, and you don't really get these chances," said senior trumpet Veronica Hill.

The students are set to perform Thursday during the parade, in front of 20 million people on the streets of New York City, and millions more around the world. It's the band's sixth time playing in the parade since the 1970s. High school bands are only allowed to play in the Macy's Parade once
one of the casts will be wearing street clothes and they won't have props.

It's "Legally Blonde," which is caught-up in the stagehands strike.

Because of the strike, the costumes and props are locked behind picket lines at the theater.

But, Laura Bell Bundy and the cast still will perform a song from the play called "What You Want."

The other three plays in the parade are not involved in the strike: "Mary Poppins," "Young FrankensteinMacy\'s Thanksgiving Day Parade
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