Nov 20, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterWhen Riverton residents sit down to watch the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, they will recognize some familiar faces in the crowd.
The Wyoming All State Marching Band will participate in the parade this year, including about 15 students from Riverton High School and 27 from Lander Valley High School. The Wyoming group is slated to be the 10th band in line, so local viewers should look for their friends and family members toward the second half of the parade.
"We'll be the only ones with enormous, white cowboy hats," RHS band director Aric Hageman said. "It's the uniform -- white pants, white shoes, hats, and a top that's red and blue."
Riverton students said they are excited, and not nervous, about their chance to be on television. They spent the summer practicing together, then performed at Cheyenne Frontier Days and during events in Sheridan, Rock Springs and Cody, so they feel prepared for the opportunity.
"It's paying off big-time," sophomore sousaphone player Morgan Miller said last week.
On their last day of school before leaving for New York, Miller said he and his peers were looking forward to the trip, and not just because of the Macy's parade. Junior Rhett Rogge, a trombonist, said he is interested to see the chaos of Black Friday in Times Square, while another student wanted to participate in the shopping rush at a candy store she had heard about.
Gillian Fahey, a freshman who plays the clarinet, will be taking in the views of the city, and some of the students said they will by happy just to be out of Riverton and Wyoming for a while.
According to their itinerary, on Tuesday the Wyoming students were scheduled to go to the Statue of Liberty, visit the 9/11 Memorial, take a driving tour of Lower Manhattan, and see a Broadway show. On Wednesday they'll hit Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral, then get a behind-the-scenes look at the Radio City Music Hall before attending the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and visiting the Top of the Rock Observation Deck.
After being in the parade on Thanksgiving, the group will attend a Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, followed by a city tour of Harlem, Little Italy, Chinatown and Greenwich Village on Friday before their trip home on Saturday.
Hageman said the Wyoming All State Marching Band takes trips like this every two years. Last time, it was the Rose Parade, and four years ago he said the group went to Hawaii. The parade airs Thursday morning on NBC television.
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