The Long County High School band enjoyed another spot on the national stage when it marched in the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade on Nov. 27 in Chicago.
The Chicago parade is the second-largest in the world, surpassed in size by only the Macy’s parade in New York.
The band had received an invitation to perform in the parade after winning the in-field show competition Jan. 1 at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Band director Terry Kenny said that the students had a great time and made Long County proud.
“The trip was awesome. The students behaved and performed well, they seemed to be impressed with Chicago, and for many, it was their first trip to a big city,” Kenny said.
Kenny said that in addition to marching in the parade, the students also got to see Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), attend a dinner dance, go to the Hard Rock Café and take a Thanksgiving Day cruise on Lake Michigan.
Kenny said that for many of the kids, it also was the first time they ever saw snow or experienced cold weather, adding that when the bus arrived in Chicago, the temperature was 13 degrees.
Being able to take the students on trips like this provides them with rare opportunities, he said.
“For many students this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. They were a part of something bigger than they are,” Kenny said.
The band director said that he was proud of all of the musicians and also how far the band program has come in four years. He also had nothing but praise for the support in helping with this trip.
“I want to thank our outstanding community for making it possible for the students to attend the trip,” he said. “The financial support was such that we left nobody home that wanted to attend the trip.”