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Entries in Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade (1)

Wednesday
Nov232011

Attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

“I’m going to be on TV,” shouted the high school cheerleader captain.

“Oh that’s nice.  I’m sure the community television will do a nice job.”

“No, really.  In New York.  Thanksgiving Day.  The Macy’s Parade!”

As a High School Senior Cheerleading Captain, she was invited to participate in the parade by the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA. ) Holy cow.  New York.

Macy’s owns this logo

As a parent, you have to stare into the financial pit on endeavors like this.  While you want to be supportive, it’s going to cost a bundle.

Travel/hotel/food for six.  You just have to be on the parade route.  You can’t be too high in a hotel or you won’t see anything.  What are we doing for dinner.

There are times when you have to look under the cushions on the couch and find money.  There was no question the captain was going…and the program was affordable.  What about the rest?

This was Thanksgiving Day 2003.  The 9/11 wounds were still open (and arguably still are.)  Because of the large family, we had a large Black GMC Suburban.  Heck, we looked like the Secret Service.  That would get us there.

Hotel required lots of calling.  We found a Doubletree Suites hotel, overlooking the parade route.  We’d be on the 11th floor, so not too, too high.

One sibling was coming from college…so the train made sense.  One (other) cheerleader sibling had to stay behind to cheer in the “big game.” 

Maybe this could happen.

As you might expect, it did happen.  And what an experience.

Just going to New York is always unique.  Going after 9/11 allowed us to visit the World Trade Center area (again) to pay our respects.

We got to watch as the UCA practiced young women and men from around the country in ballrooms in hotels.  I learned a new phrase spoken by the coach, “Waiting on you.”  1000 people silenced by those words.  (Followed on one occasion by, “I don’t have to be here.  I can pull you from the parade.  You can explain to your friends and family here and back home what happened.”  Instant compliance.)

We watched the parade balloons get blown up the night before (similar to this video from a more recent year.)

 

We went to see the Radio City Christmas Show….we skated on the ice at Rockefeller Center.

In other words, we made a trip of a lifetime just fabulous.

Parade day brought frigid weather.  It was fascinating to watch a well-choreographed public service effort….as the crews swung the overhanging street lights out of the way, the police secure the parade route and afterwards the crew replaces everything and cleans it up.

We took turns reserving a place to stand along the barricade from 7:30AM on so we wouldn’t make all this effort and miss out.

The people come…and make the place zoo like.  We were there when she went by, then frankly scampered back inside to warm up.

Afterwards, we had Thanksgiving dinner at a New York restaurant.  It was a very nice dinner, albeit someone else’s.   The flavors were not “ours.”

All in all, we couldn’t be happier we did it.  It was an occasion worth saving for, and attending.  It truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

As a father, I couldn’t have been prouder of the Cheerleader and her accomplishments, and the family for coming together for support.

Where have you scraped the pennies for an event like this?