Kimball band headed to Chicago to march in Thanksgiving Day paradeKIMBALL — Two charter buses will leave Kimball before dawn Tuesday carrying tired, but ecstatic, band members to march and play in the 79th Annual Chicago Thanksgiving Parade.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
KIMBALL — Two charter buses will leave Kimball before dawn Tuesday carrying tired, but ecstatic, band members to march and play in the 79th Annual Chicago Thanksgiving Parade.
The Kimball Kiote Pride Marching Band will be the only band representing South Dakota in the parade this year.
Instructor Sara Olson said she received word in October 2011 that the band would be in the holiday parade.
“I knew we had good leadership coming up so we wanted to do something different,” Olson said.
The band’s video audition gave them the opportunity to participate.
It showed off some of its new moves during a practice session in Kimball recently. Olson said about 75 to 100 people came out to watch the band incorporate a small dance step and other intricacies into their routine.
With nine chaperones, 61 students will venture to the Windy City for a whirlwind tour.
The two-hour parade will air on WGN America starting at 8 a.m. Thursday. The band is unit No. 53 of 118 entries, Olson said.
“I tried to tell them every day there’s going to be way more people watching them,” Olson said of the Thanksgiving parade. “They know it’s big.”
The students, chaperones and 11 others will drive all day Tuesday to arrive in Chicago around 5:30 p.m. They will lounge that evening at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Chicago, where all the 1,900 band students playing in the parade will stay, Olson said.
Wednesday, the students will go to the Shedd Aquarium and that evening they will attend a formal dinner and dance party put on by the Sheraton just for the bands.
After the parade on Thursday, the band will go to Medieval Times.
They will visit the John Hancock Observatory, the Navy Pier, Bubba Gump’s Restaurant and attend the “Million Dollar Quartet” musical on Friday.
“Then we will drive through the night to be back home by about 7 a.m. Saturday,” Olson said.
The students are more than excited to be the only band representing South Dakota in the parade, she added.
Fundraising for the trip began in January with an auction, which raised a lot of money, she said.
The students put a small deposit down for themselves to attend the parade, but otherwise, it is a community-funded event, Olson said.
“The trip cost over $40,000,” she said. “We had huge community support.”