On Monday, I gave a tour of Central Park to one of the seven bus groups that comprise the Lincoln High School Marching Band of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who will be leading off the Macy's Parade tomorrow morning. They were here eight years ago and another successful audition tape (out of 300 submitted) earned them an invitation to be one of the 10 marching bands performing in this year's event.
They arrived on Sunday night, after a 32-hour drive, and were able to do some sightseeing during the last couple days, but today they have to get down to business, the reason they traveled those 1300 miles.
Part of that business involves sleeping, because tonight they have to wake up at 11pm and start getting ready to leave the hotel. At 3am, they need to be in front of Macy's on Broadway for their ten-minute rehearsal slot. (My friend, Andrea Burns, will be rehearsing with the cast of In the Heights a couple hours later. I assume the Broadway shows get more then ten minutes.) The Lincoln High students then reboard their buses and try to sleep until 5am when the boxed breakfasts show up. By 7am they start lining up near the American Museum of Natural History. At 9am, it's showtime.
After they perform in front of Macy's (and America) they march on over to the Foley Post Office on Eighth Avenue for a group photo before changing out of their uniforms and enjoying the rest of the holiday. Their Thanksgiving meal takes place that evening at the Crowne Plaza where the 300-guest banquet is followed by a dance.
At some point on Friday, they begin the long drive west.