The Lincoln-Way Marching Band was selected to represent Illinois and perform in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
This will be the band’s first appearance in the parade, according to a news release from Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210. The band will join the parade to the call of “Let’s Have a Parade,” the iconic phrase that has signaled the start of every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1924.
“As the reigning Illinois Marching Band Grand Champions, Lincoln-Way is clearly a band of the highest caliber,” Wesley Whatley, the creative producer of the parade, said in the release. “It is their success on the national stage, paired with their imaginative show programs, high level of difficulty and incredible musicianship that landed Lincoln-Way High School Marching Band a coveted spot to join us in New York.”
The Macy’s Parade Band Committee looks for bands with stage presence, musical and marching abilities to entertain more than 3.5 million spectators along the two-mile route and more than 50 million TV viewers each year, according to the release. The Lincoln-Way Marching Band was selected from more than 100 applicants as one of nine bands to march in the 94th edition of the annual holiday event. The band will join the revelry along with other iconic Macy’s staples: floats, giant character balloons, clowns and superstar performers on Thanksgiving Day 2020.
“There are very few accomplishments that hold the status of Macy’s Parade in the marching band community,” Lincoln-Way Director of Bands Bert Johnson said in the release. “We are truly honored, overwhelmed and humbled by being selected to perform in this magnificent national Thanksgiving Day tradition.”
Lincoln-Way will spend the next 18 months planning for their parade appearance with rehearsals and fundraisers to help the student band members participate.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been playing for more than 90 years. More than 5,000 Macy’s employees and volunteers work to create the spectacle and entertain the millions of viewers. This year, there will be 12 bands from all over the country representing their states in the parade.
“Our students past and present have worked hard to make this ensemble something our community, families and the school district are proud of and we are incredibly grateful to be designated with this honor,” Johnson said.