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Kimball students will march in Chicago parade next year

KIMBALL -- Some students in Kimball recently learned they will march down Chicago's State Street during next year's nationally televised Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Kimball Kiote Band Director Sara Olson said she auditioned her 65-student marching band for the parade because she wanted to do something bigger with the students.

"The students do so well with their marching that we just wanted to see if we could do it," Olson said.

The band includes students in seventh through 12th grades.

The audition process involved sending in a written application and a tape of one of the marching band's previous parades to the Chicago Festival Association.

Olson was told the day after she applied that Kimball's marching band was chosen to participate in the parade.

"I was pretty excited," she said, "but I had to keep it quiet until I talked to the administration."

After getting permission from school administration, Olson told her students the good news by showing them the audition tape she sent in, which had been edited to include facts about Chicago and the news they would be marching in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This will be the first time the Kimball Kiote Marching Band has participated in an event with as much notoriety as Chicago's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Olson said.

The band has appeared in parades for South Dakota State University's Hobo Day and Northern State University's Gypsy Day, and the group has marched in the Sioux Falls Festival of Bands.

"We'll do lots of practice in the spring," Olson said of preparation for the Chicago event, "and special practices in the summer to get them rolling. I know it will be a lot of work, but I'm sure the kids will step up."

The parade is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, 2012.

It is broadcast annually on WGN America, which reaches about 75 million homes.