ROCKFORD, MICH. - "It's happening in a week and we're all still in shock," said Candice Adkins, a senior in high school and one of the drum majors in the Rockford marching band.
Adkins is referring to the highly anticipated 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. She and 317 fellow marching band members will travel to New York City next week to make history for Rockford and West Michigan.
Rockford is one of only ten marching bands selected to march in this year's parade. The announcement about being selected came nineteen months ago.
In addition to marching in the parade, Rockford still competed in marching band competitions this season.
"We've been practicing for Macy's and that's something completely different than our competitive season," said Calli Van Dorp, a senior drum major. "We've been doing essentially two sports in one season."
The added work didn't slow down the band. In fact, they made history once already this year by placing first in their flight at the Michigan Competing Band Association.
"It was really really cool to win first place at states because that's something we never even dreamed of doing," said Van Dorp.
So what is behind all the success the band is experiencing this year?
"We've had some wonderful positive student leaders and the whole system has been supportive, from administration to the [band] boosters to the students," said Brain Phillips, band director of the Rockford Marching Band.
The band will leave for New York City on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Friends and family will be having a send-off celebration starting at 6 p.m. at the Rockford High School. All are welcome to attend.
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