Turkey time is upon us! Thanksgiving is a beloved American holiday full of favorite family traditions. Besides indulging (unapologetically!) in perhaps our biggest meal of the meal, one of the most prominent activity on this day is tuning into the Thanksgiving parades on television, or even attending one in person! Thanksgiving Day parades feature elaborate floats, huge balloons, and a wide variety of music and dance performances. Marching bands are a key element to any parade, and they are certainly one of our favorite parts of the event! To get you in the Thanksgiving Day parade spirit, we’ve compiled a short list of the best Thanksgiving Day parades and some of the marching bands they feature.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade- Airs at 9am EST (no specified end time)
It goes without saying that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is by far the most well-known and widely watched. Every year 12 bands are showcased in this parade held in New York City, which are a mixture of high school, university, military, and police force bands. For the 12th year, the Macy’s Great American Marching Band will feature 185 talented high school musicians from all over the country, accompanied by flags and dancers.
Thanksgiving Parade of Bands at the Walt Disney World Resort- Begins at 2pm EST
This parade is unique in that bands come together in a non-competitive format to participate in a custom-arranged mass band performance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for an audience of thousands-the performance is streamed via live webcast so spectators off site can enjoy the show too! Bands can also perform individually at other venues on the property. It’s a fantastic opportunity for young musicians to collaborate and learn from professionals, collegiate instructors, and DCI champions, as well as perform alongside the Presidio Bass. And did we mention you’ll also receive a professional narration and an appearance by Mickey Mouse, an extravagant Thanksgiving dinner, awards ceremony, and a private performance by the Presidio Brass? Dreams really do come true at Disney World!
If you’re a band director and are interested in this opportunity for your students (or a band student interested in sharing this opportunity with your band director!) check out the website for more information on how to apply. If you want to watch the live stream, it will air on Thanksgiving Day at http://banddirectorlive.com/
McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade- Airs from 8:00am until 11am CST
Founded in 1934, the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago is one of the three in the country with a national broadcast, so you can enjoy this one from the comfort of your own home after your big turkey feast. There are 18 marching bands in this parade- significantly more than the number of bands included in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! You can read a little about each of the bands here and watch videos of their performances.
Nashville Band Room Repair wishes you a happy Thanksgiving and precious time spent with your loved ones. Who knows….maybe after watching the parades this year you’ll become inspired to apply to march in one with your own band in the near future!