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Alabama A&M Marching Maroon and White ‘honored’ to lead Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

NEW YORK — It’ll be a historic moment in the long-storied Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when Alabama A&M University’s Marching Maroon and White Band steps off Thursday morning.

The Bulldogs are the first Historically Black College and University to be the lead band in the world famous parade.

Needless to say, the Bulldogs are eager to show their stuff to a worldwide audience.

“We’re very excited about being in New York City to represent AAMU, Huntsville and the state of Alabama,” said Band Director Dr. Carlton Wright. “It’s a huge honor to not only march in the parade, but to also lead off the parade!”

And Wright promises a special treat, as well.

“We’ll have a very special session with jazz icon Jon Batiste right before the parade starts,” he said. “Tune in early!”

And the musicians aren’t the only ones stepping out. The legendary Dancing Divas had their share of the spotlight Tuesday when they shared the stage with the world famous Rockettes for a special performance.

Returning for its 97th edition this year, the parade starts at 7:30 a.m. CT and is carried live locally on WAFF-TV Channel 48 and streamed on Peacock.

“For nearly 100 years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been synonymous with the beginning of the holiday season, celebration and togetherness,” said Will Coss, Executive Producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Our talented team of Macy’s Studios artisans and production specialists work year-round to deliver the nation’s most beloved holiday event, live on Thanksgiving morning.

“We are proud to hold this responsibility and look forward to sharing our unbelievable designs, larger-than-life character balloons and first-class entertainment, all sure to create lifelong memories for parade fans nationwide.”

Along with the 250-member Marching Maroon and White, the parade lineup includes 5,000 volunteers, 16 featured character balloons, 26 floats, 32 heritage and novelty balloons, more than 700 clowns, 12 marching bands and nine performance groups.

And, of course, Santa Claus.


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