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Mercer Island HS band to play in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Nov 20, 2023, 11:05 AM | Updated: 12:10 pm

mercer island bang thanksgiving...

Mercer Island High School (Photo from the Creative Commons)

(Photo from the Creative Commons)

The eyes of millions of TV viewers will be on the Mercer Island High School marching band this Thanksgiving Day as the musicians will play in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

In its coverage, The Seattle Times noted the group from Mercer Island is one of 12 bands picked from hundreds of applicants to play in the prestigious parade. Only six are high school bands.

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The Macy’s parade is a staple of the holiday celebrations, with floats, balloons, bands marching, entertainers singing and an appearance by Santa Claus to help usher in the Christmas season. An estimated three million spectators pack the streets of Manhattan each Thanksgiving.

The 97th annual parade will take place Nov. 23 and, as usual, will be televised on NBC.

“Each year, the Macy’s parade band committee looks for bands that have the stage presence, musical and marching abilities to captivate millions of live spectators and viewers nationwide,” Mercer Island High School said in the announcement of the performance. “The Mercer Island High School Marching Band was selected from more than 100 applicants as one of ten selected bands to march in the 97th edition of the annual holiday spectacle.”

The 300-student band program, one of the largest in the state, was selected to perform in the parade last April. It’s only the second time a school from the state of Washington will play in the parade, with the other being Mukilteo’s Kamiak High School in 2002.

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The Mercer Island band will play a snippet of Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road,” which was featured in the famed 1983 comedy “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

“The Macy’s parade is, for (a) high school band program, nothing short of a bucket list experience,” Parker Bixby and Kyle Thompson, Mercer Island High School Marching Band co-directors wrote about the upcoming event. “Macy’s represents the ultimate opportunity for students, staff, and community to come together in pursuit of a once in a lifetime performance experience in front of the nation. The Islander Marching Band — The Pride of the Island could not be more proud to represent our community in the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”

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Mercer Island HS band to play in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade