Thanksgiving Day Parade
Issue Date: September 9, 2009
City: New York, NY
New York City’s first Thanksgiving Day Parade featured a marching band dressed as clowns. The band traveled down 34th Street, playing marching tunes and amusing onlookers along the route.
The following year, military bands began a tradition of playing in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The tapping of marching soldiers echoed through the streets of Manhattan. And the windows along Broadway shook as the brass bands belted out traditional marches and patriotic songs.
During the years of World War II, the parades were suspended. The war took its toll on American soldiers. So when the parade resumed in 1945, college and high school bands marched, allowing the soldiers to rest. These new bands replaced traditional marches with songs inspired by all forms of popular music. Drum lines pounded out cadences while horn sections wailed out fan favorites. Today, ten high school and college bands are selected to compete in the procession. It is a great honor to be chosen to participate in the event.
Every year, crowds line the streets of New York City to listen to the best marching bands in the country. Although marching bands compete against one another, entertaining the audience remains the most important goal.