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Macy's Thanksgiving Parade to have local flavor

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 22 2011 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 23 2011 05:39:59 PM CST

This year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will have quite a local connection.

EXETER TWP., Pa. -

When the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off in Manhattan on Thursday, you might see some local faces.

"It's a lot of fun, and it's just that feeling when you play music, it's a lot of fun and just thrilling," said Sarah Miller, a Fleetwood High School student who will be playing the piccolo in the Macy's Great American Marching Band.

The idea for the band was created by Dennis Rhoads, owner of the Exeter Twp.-based production company Music Festivals, Music Tours Unlimited, Inc.

Richard Good, the band's director, also has a local connection. He graduated from Allen High School in Allentown.

"To see the kids come and have the experience and have a great time, it's just something that money can't buy," said Rhoads.

For the chance to be in the band, auditions were held all across the country. Students from Wilson and Blue Mountain high schools also made the cut.

For Sarah, a Fleetwood High senior, this is her second year in the band.

"It's kind of like the thrill of being in such a big parade and being in front of millions of people," said Sarah.

But it's not all work. Students also go sightseeing.

Rhoads said his production company works year-round to bring this experience to high schoolers.

He also explained that, in light of cuts in music funding in schools across the country, participating in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is priceless for many students.

"It's a great experience for every member of my staff, and it's very gratifying to see the students from all over the country and have a great experience," said Rhoads.

If you want to catch the Great American Band, it should be playing on your television at about 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.