Archive | November, 2019

Centennial Celebration Honors Our Veterans on 5th Avenue

12 Nov
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Presentation of Flags

     A tradition that began 100 years ago in NYC was celebrated in a grand style that only New Yorkers can do. America honored its veterans in all the Armed Forces with marching bands from all parts of the country , floats with our beloved vets, and lots of fanfare. Before the parade started, there was a ceremony at Madison Square Park where a stage was set up for honored guests and speakers to proclaim the importance of the sacrifice these men and women  made to protect our nation. For the first time ever, a sitting US President attended the event. President Trump spoke to the vets about their courage and how we should all help our vets. There was a laying of the wreath at the Eternal Light Flagstaff where the victorious forces of the Army and Navy in World War 1 were honored. The parade kicks off from this spot up 5th Avenue to 46th St.  The warm weather for early November brought out lots of revelers as the parade route was starting to fill up.

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Marine Corp Marching Band

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Raising Our Flag In Victory

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The Few The Proud The Marines

     This year honored the Marine Corp as they were the honorary lead group. Everyone was amazed at the sharp uniform and precision steps. The Marine Corp Marching Band set the bar for the drumline. When I take videos of marching bands at the all the parades in NYC, I focus in on the drumline because that’s the heart and soul of the group. They were one of the best I have seen all year. All the Marine vets came out to march with the most notable being astronaut and moon walker Buzz Aldrin. This years Grand Marshalls represented 4 wars. US Marine Corp Veteran Zach Iscol from Pound Ridge NY was the last one chosen among the other distinguished vets.

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Valley Forge Prep

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Celebrating with Pride

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Buzz Aldrin waving to the Crowd

     The Veterans Day Parade showcases some of the best marching bands from High Schools across the country. They were all great and made the vets proud. For many students, it was their first time in the city. Visiting from Athens, Alabama were the East Limestone HS Marching Band. They got the crowd worked up for what would be a fun filled day. Revelers were treated to a fun marching band from Ankeny Iowa. A band from Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania had a fun group of flag bearers. Probably the best brass section came from Downington East of Exton PA. A small but energetic band was from Waterloo, NY HS Marching Band. Seneca East HS Tiger Pride from Ohio and Bloominton IL HS Marching Raiders put on a great show for the vets.

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     On each block of the parade route you can see vets from all parts of the city, state and country watch with pride. One of the best things to see is how total strangers greet each other with respect because they served the greatest country on the planet. The Coast Guard Marching Band played with lots of energy. They brought out one of their newer boats that protects our shores. The Air Force sent an Honorary Guard from Washington DC. The Navy had a great representation but Army was up for the challenge and out yelled them by a few dozen decibels. That extra energy might translate to win on the gridiron later on this month. The parade also paid tribute to our allies that helped us especially in World War 1 and 2.  Support groups like the Wounded Warrior Project and Headstrong made some noise and helped bring awareness to vets and families about their services.

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     This parade was one of the better Veterans Day parades I have attended. There was alot of thanks and respect given to the men and women for all the sacrifice they made to make this the great country we enjoy. Freedom is not free and we enjoy the freedoms we have because these vets gave of themselves for our country and way of life. Do something nice for a vet when you can. They deserve it.

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Thank You For Your Service and Sacrifice

Wild Things Abound at the Village Halloween Parade

1 Nov
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There’s a Wild Thing In All of Us

      Every Halloween, 6th Avenue is transformed into a busy commercial and residential area into the biggest Halloween parade and party in the world. Thousands of the most creative and creepiest costumes come to life while nearly a million spectators take in the sights and sounds. The 46th annual parade was almost a wash out as heavy rains soaked the City for most of the day. Not a drop came down during the creepy event and as usual at 7PM the white angels came up 6th Avenue with blessings and pixie dust to kick off the parade. Following them was an amazing brass band that got the crowd ready for a frightfest on steroids. Led by Artistic Director Jeanne Fleming, the largest display of puppetry made its way up the parade route to the delight of the large crowd. Hundreds of volunteers from all parts of the country spend countless hours creating these amazing puppets just for the event.

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Lets Get This Party Started

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Day of the Dead Costumes

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Looking for the After Party

     This year’s theme was Wild Things where all wild animals roam free only to be corralled and break out again. Brilliant display of puppetry while accompanied by one of the coolest drum bands I have seen this year.  This years Grand Marshall was on display for most of the night as it dangled from Jefferson Market Tower. Zohra, the giant spider, is a staple at the parade. She appears at the start of a video clip of the perennial favorite Hungry March Band. The event is televised locally for millions of viewers to see the madness that comes out from the parade.  To march in this parade, all you need is a costume. Waves of crazy costumed marchers try to put a scare into the spectators there to experience the best Halloween parade on the planet.

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Artistic Director and Producer Jeanne Fleming

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Demon Out For A Walk

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Black Angel Finds A Victim

     Gaining more popularity each year is the Samba NY band with their dancers and drum band. They always put on a great show for the crowd. The all female drum band, Fogo Azul, made it’s way up the parade route with folks dancing all around them. Everyone’s favorite tribute to Michael Jackson’s Thriller danced it’s way up the parade route. Soaking up all the love and hate was a returning rock band that put on a great show. Vampire Rock Opera is becoming a crowd favorite with their driving bass line and sultry singers. Hope they come back for more.

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You Tell Em Bernie

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Birds of a feather…

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Thriller Steals the Show

     This is truly one of the best parades of the City this year and a must do on your bucket list. New Yorkers creativity and imagination are on full display as only the New Yorkers can do…the best there is. Scare ya next year.

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