Tag Archives: marching bands

Millions Brave Freezing Temps to Give Thanks at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

24 Nov
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Let’s Get This Party Started

     Arctic temperatures couldn’t stop the millions of fans from lining up the parade route from 77th St. and Central Park West all the way down to 34th St. in front of the Macy’s Herald Square flagship store. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the biggest parade in the city and always enjoyed by kids from 5 to 95. It was the coldest Thanksgiving in 100 years but that didn’t matter. Everyone was there to have a great time and be part of a New York tradition since 1924. With a large display of giant balloons, celebrities, and clowns, the grand spectacle is the premiere showcase that only Macy’s can pull off.

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Paw Patrol On Duty

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Dragon In Training

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James Madison University MB Bringing It

     The parade features some of the top tier marching bands in country. This year the prestigious lead band came from Ohio State University. The frigid temperature had them marching double time just to keep warm. It seems as though this year had more celebrities than in previous years. Headliners included Diana Ross, John Legend, Martina McBride and a whole host of other performers. The parade also boasts the largest collection of clowns assembled for one event…other than a clown convention.

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John Legend Waving to the Crowd

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Goku Ready to Defend

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What A Fun Celebration

     Some of the marching bands putting on a great show were the James Madison University Marching Band from Virginia. They were great and had a loud following from the crowd. Oregon sent some of their best in Grants Pass High School marching Band and Color Guard. The giant balloon of Charlie Brown made it’s way down the parade route soon followed by the Northstars from Syracuse NY.  There was a drum showdown between two excellent bands. It’s tough to decide which had the better drum section. Check out Riverside High School from California marching band and then the thunderous Homewood Patriot High School Marching Band from Alabama. They were both well instructed and on point for the parade.

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NYC Landmarks Got In on the Action

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Frosty as Frozen Olaf

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That Nasty Grinch Up To No Good

 

     A few new balloons made their grand entrance to the parade. Goku, from Dragonball Z fame floated in over 56 feet tall and 70 feet long. All kids were watching in amazement at the giant balloon. The Netflix film,  The Christmas Chronicles,  had characters Fleck, Jojo, Bjorn and Hugg airing it out in novelty balloons. They were fun. Hope to see them next year. Everyone’s favorite Mr. Grinch and Spongebob Squarepants always get the loudest applause. The tail end of the parade is dedicated to the Christmas season with lots of elves and Christmas themed floats gathering anticipation for the last float carrying Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus waving to the crowd. It’s always a special part of the parade to watch kids of all ages smiling and waving to Santa Claus.

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     This years NYC parade line up was amazing. Tens of millions of revelers attended this years parades in the greatest city ever created. In a city with such a diverse population, the fact that all these parades can go on without problems or protests shows just how strong a city we have. Thanks to the parade organizers and volunteers that dedicated their time to produce events that keep the star shining on top of this beaming metropolis. Thanks to the NYPD for keeping everyone safe and FDNY for responding quickly to any emergencies, and Sanitation for cleaning up. Thanks to all the marching bands for the endless rehearsals and making the parades festive. And thanks to you the reader that helps keep this blog going. Thank you. It’s been a blast.

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                   Have a great holiday season and a safe and Happy New Year!!

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Israelis Turn 5th Ave, Into a Sea of Blue and White

4 Jun
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Celebrating In Style

     June is a busy parade month with major parades celebrated throughout the city. The first Sunday of the month has two parades going on in close proximity. The first leg of the dual parade day was the 54th annual Celebrate Israel parade on 5th Ave. starting from 55th St to 74th St. Thousands of marchers and revelers came out to celebrate the nation of Israel and all its contributions to NYC and the US. Security was extra tight with all the heightened tensions after the US decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem recently. Every large marching group had their own security detail and NYPD deployed the bike patrol to ensure everyone’s safety.  Better safe than sorry. The usual protesters were confined to a block in front of the Plaza Hotel where a heavy police presence maintained order and kept the parade moving so that the celebration of the 70th year of Israel as a nation continued without disruption.   The mounted police signaled the start of the parade with this years theme for all participants being Sababa, which means super, fantastic, awesome. Bestowed with the high honor of sending notice to all present with the sounding of the ceremonial Shofar was Stanley Hochhauser, riding on the backseat of the convertible cruising up the parade route on 5th Ave.

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Taking Pride In Israel

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Raider Drummers Doing Their Thing

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Traditional Wear In Celebration

 

     This parade is known for all the colorful handmade banners displaying the years theme made by the many groups participating. Many banners were very creative and colorful. The parade gives all the local politicians a chance to meet with the crowd and put some good words in with potential voters. The Israeli Government also sends a delegation to greet the crowd and make the day more festive.  Some of the better drum and bugle bands from the area get to show off their moves. A perennial favorite is the Raiders Drum and Bugle Band from Burlington, NJ. Not to be outdone were the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Band from Princeton, NJ. They were both excellent and helped make the event a memorable one. Everyone that witnessed a marvelous display of culture and pride would agree this years theme was felt by all. Israel, you are Sababa!  I had to leave  the Israeli Parade ahead of schedule to make it to the second leg of the dual parade day. The Philippine Independence Parade was under way on Madison Ave. near Madison Square Park…Only in NY…Oy Vay.

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Let’s All Celebrate Israel

Italians Rev Up Their Hot Cars for Columbus Day

16 Oct
Hot Lamborghini

Hot Lamborghini

     Fast cars and beautiful women were the big draws in the 69th annual Columbus Day Parade up 5th Ave. Tens of thousands of Italian-Americans lined up the parade route to catch a glimpse at about a hundred floats and marching bands. The weather was just right for a fun day of Italian style and heritage. Most had the chance to see Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC mayoral hopeful Bill DeBlasio meet and greet and the crowd. Even the prestigious Columbus Day Parade was not immune from the government shutdown as the lead band from West Point was not allowed to march. The Ohio Northern University replaced the West Point band on a short 3 day notice. This parade had over 20 marching bands with some flown in from Italy just for the occasion. One stand out band was from Parma, Italy. They had a different style of play than what most New Yorkers are accustomed to but it was still very good. One band that really got the crowd worked up were the lovely Golden Stars and the Band Musicale Comunale from Italy.  They really put on a good show for the crowd. It was a nice sight to see firefighters from Venice march in the parade and share a moment with their counterparts from NYC.

Marni Rollerblading

Marni Rollerblading

Golden Stars

Golden Stars

Miss USA

Miss USA

Most parades I have been to this year have had a nice showing of exotic cars but this years honor goes to the Italians with their Lambourghinis, Maseratis, Ferraris, any car lover would dream of having in their garage.  Even Miss USA was seen riding in a Ferrari. The parade is getting more international attention as a group of Basque dancers from Barcelona, Spain marched up the parade route. The crowd showed their love for them with lots of applause and support. The quality of marching bands is getting better and proof of this was in the Sacred Heart University Pioneer MB from Connecticut. They put on a good show with some nice choreography work. The band from West Islip once again showed why they get invited back every year.  They are top notch.  All in all it was a fun parade with lots of Italian style and culture for all to see.  Loved the cars. Vroom vroom.

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Sailing off into the sunset

Sailing off into the sunset

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