Search
Close this search box.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Led by HBCU Alabama A&M Marching Band | WATCH

*(CNN) — Well, they did it! Alabama A&M University’s Marching Maroon and White Band kicked off the 97th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday in New York City. Check them out via the video above.

Earlier, the band’s director, Carlton Wright, told CNN the performance would be a significant moment for the historically Black college: “This is going to be huge,” he said. “Nerves will be a factor for both the students and for me and the staff.”

But Wright said his biggest concern wasn’t nerves. Rather, it’s the weather.

“A lot of bands don’t perform in these temperatures,” he explained. “We just have to make sure that we are warmed up and lips are loose.”

Macys Thanksgiving Day Pare Temps - screenshot
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Pare Temps – screenshot

The National Weather Service predicted a low of 40 degrees Fahrenheit Wednesday night and a high of 50 today, Thanksgiving Day.

But now that it’s a done deal, the band obviously was able to deal with the conditions.

Wright said AAMU’s band – which is comprised of 256 students – had been preparing for the parade since September.

“The students were drilled like drill sergeants would do,” he said. “Campus sits on a massive hill, and to make sure that we had a good endurance, we marched up the entire campus on the steepest fields while playing, so that they could understand what the test would be in New York.”

Two years ago, Wright said he watched other marching bands perform in the Thanksgiving parade and thought, “Why not us?” So, he opened his laptop and applied.

“It took me about maybe a month to six weeks to go ahead and complete the application and send it in, because I wanted to make sure that everything was just correct,” he recalled.

Still, Wright admitted he was surprised when organizers informed him the university’s band had been selected to lead in this year’s Macy’s parade.

“I was just shocked that we made it because most bands don’t get selected on the first try,” he said.

The band had a 2 a.m. call time Thursday to go over its 75-second televised performance.

Alabama A&M University Marching Maroon & White band (Paras Griffin-Getty Images)
Alabama A&M University Marching Maroon & White band (Paras Griffin-Getty Images)

Wright hopes that by introducing the band to a new audience viewers came away feeling joy and happiness.

The parade, which featured a dozen marching bands, along with performances by John Batiste, Brandy, Chicago, En Vogue, and Cher, was televised nationally on NBC.

By the way, Al Roker, who missed last year’s parade for the first time in 27 years because of health issues, returned as co-host with fellow NBC’s “TODAY” show anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb.

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: Thanksgiving: A Good Time to Discuss Democracy with Family and Friends | VIDEO

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

We Publish News 24/7. Don’t Miss A Story. Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to Our Newsletter Now!

Aja Wilson - screengrab
Spray on running shoes (Courtesy On via CNN Newsource)
Giannis Antetokounmpo - Getty
Elon Musk - Getty
Anthony Anderson - via Jimmy Kimmel Live-ABC
Joe Biden wearing mask - Getty
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Rob Peace) - via Paramount Movies
Joy Reid - Amber Rose (MSNBC-Getty)
Irv Gotti - Depositphotos
Loni Love - Tyler Perry (NBCU/Getty)
Thomas Matthew Crooks
Read More
Donald Trump shooting - bloody ear (screenshot)
Read More
Tejuana Johnson - via Facebook
Read More
Donald Trump in Butler PA as shots are heard - screengrab
Read More
Donald Trump being rushed from stage in Butler PA
Read More
Robin Allen as Miss Cleo - via Lifetime
Read More
John Gotti - Donald Trump
Read More
Kadia Iman in scuffle with white educator during graduation ceremony
Read More
Paige Butcher and Eddie Murphy - Depositphotos
Read More
Joy Reid - Amber Rose (MSNBC-Getty)
Read More

POPULAR

Aja Wilson - screengrab
Usher's Presence Causes A'ja Wilson's Hot Mic Moment: Light-hearted Roasting Goes Viral After Upset Loss | WATCH
Spray on running shoes (Courtesy On via CNN Newsource)
Marathon-winning ‘Spray-on’ Running Shoes Could Shake Up Olympics | WATCH
Giannis Antetokounmpo - Getty
Giannis Antetokounmpo Teams Up with Wingstop for Exciting 'Spicy' Announcement | Video
Elon Musk - Getty
Elon Musk to Move Companies Out of California Over New SAFETY Act
Anthony Anderson - via Jimmy Kimmel Live-ABC
'White People’s Choice Awards' - Anthony Anderson’s Hilarious/Biting Take on the Republican National Convention | WATCH
Joe Biden wearing mask - Getty
Damn ... Again?! President Joe Biden Has Tested POSITIVE for Covid-19 | VIDEO
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Rob Peace) - via Paramount Movies
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mary J. Blige Lead Cast in Heart-Wrenching True Story 'Rob Peace' | Watch Trailer
Joy Reid - Amber Rose (MSNBC-Getty)
Amber Rose Calls Out Joy Reid for Comments on Her Race After Trump-love/RNC Speech - But it Backfires BIGly | WATCH
Irv Gotti - Depositphotos
Irv Gotti Faces Lawsuit for Alleged Sexual Assault in Miami
1 2 3 8,191