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Union High School's marching band among 10 at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
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Union High School's marching band among 10 at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

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How to watch

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs on KJRH Channel 2. Live-streaming will be available for users of NBC's Peacock service.
An encore broadcast is set for 2-5 p.m. Thursday.

Union High School will be represented in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as past and present members of the Renegade Regiment are among 10 marching bands scheduled to perform Thursday morning.

“It’s amazing,” senior mellophone player Shaun Riggins said. “I’ve never been to New York. I can’t tell which one I’m more excited for, New York or the parade. All of it is going to be a blast.”

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Union band members practice for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at the Union-Tuttle Stadium.

Its first appearance in the event since 2013, the Renegade Regiment was originally slated to march in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. However, when COVID-19 concerns forced the parade to downsize, the band had to delay participation by a year.

With the trip postponed a year, about a dozen 2021 Union graduates who helped with previous fundraising efforts will be marching with this year’s edition of the Renegade Regiment. However, most of those former students are no longer living in the Tulsa area, which has meant they have had to prepare on their own in advance of the parade.

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Union’s Renegade Regiment practices one last time before marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, A few alumni who have left the area will join the band when it performs in New York.

“We still wanted them to be involved if they could be,” said Director of Bands and Associate Director of Fine Arts Charles Pisarra. “Those students have been learning from afar, ... so it’s a little stressful, but they’re great kids. It is what it is. For me, it’s important that they get the opportunity to experience this.”

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Union's band member run a rehearsal before marching in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, November 18, 2021 at Union-Tuttle Stadium in Tulsa, OK.

Now attending Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, baritone player Kalli Christopher is among the dozen Union band alumni suiting up for Thursday’s parade. She is playing trombone in jazz band this semester rather than marching but welcomed the opportunity.

“It’s really cool,” she said. “I honestly didn’t expect to get to come back due to COVID-19 once they had us shut down, so I had just given up on it. It is really nice to go off to college, experience a new segment of life and get to come back and have this experience that I was looking forward to for two years.”

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Union's band member run a rehearsal before marching in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, November 18, 2021 at Union-Tuttle Stadium in Tulsa, OK.

The Union high schoolers had their own challenges: The band’s competition season ended in early November, leaving just a few weeks for the students to learn additional music and visuals for the parade on top of their regular schoolwork.

“As soon as the competition season was over, we went straight into Macy’s rehearsals,” Riggins said. “It was a quick turnaround. There was no break in between.”

With almost 200 students participating, the band loaded up five charter buses early Sunday morning to make the 27-hour trek northeast.

In addition to the performance Thursday morning, the group will carve out time for sightseeing, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for all 400 people in the traveling party and a Broadway show before heading back to Tulsa on Saturday.

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Dancer preform during a Union band practices one last time before marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, November 18, 2021 at Union-Tuttle Stadium in Tulsa, OK.

More on the parade

NEW YORK (AP) — New balloon giants joining the lineup include the title character from the Netflix series “Ada Twist, Scientist”; the Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee on a sled (Pikachu has appeared before, in different form), and Grogu, aka “Baby Yoda,” from the television show “The Mandalorian." New floats are coming from entities ranging from condiment maker Heinz to NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service to the Louisiana Office of Tourism.

Macy's Thanksgiving parade returns, with all the trimmings

Police walk by an inflated helium balloon of Grogu, also known as Baby Yoda, from the Star Wars show The Mandalorian, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in New York, as the balloon is readied for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.

Entertainers and celebrities include Carrie Underwood, Jon Batiste, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Miss America Camille Schrier, the band Foreigner, and many others. Several Broadway musical casts and the Radio City Rockettes also are due to perform.


 

From the Oklahoman: A group of cheerleaders from Washington High School in McClain County also are participating in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Trending: Macy's Thanksgiving parade returns, with all the trimmings

Trending: These are the new balloons at this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


Featured:

The mayor of New York City Monday called the events at a Wisconsin Christmas parade "tragic and horrible" but said the NYPD plans for "very careful security" around the upcoming Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "It's something we talk about the night before, we give an update every year on what's going on, but very meticulous efforts have been made to prepare," Bill de Blasio said. The mayor said there has been "no credible and specific threat to New York City" or the parade.

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My primary beat is public education. I am a third-generation graduate of Oklahoma State University, a board member for Oklahoma SPJ and an active member of the Native American Journalists Association.

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