Let's Have a Parade!
The Avon High School Marching Black & Gold have accepted an invitation to travel to New York City to perform in the 2024 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The following video captures the moment the students learned about the honor. Scroll down to see photos from the event.
"Parents, School Board Members, and leaders from our community are all here to support you and to thank you for being such a great representation of our high school, of our schools, and of our community," Avon Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Wyndham told students. "I can't wait to see all you continue to accomplish, and I'm looking forward to November, 2024."
The surprise announcement took place in the Avon High School band room this morning after several weeks of behind-the-scenes coordination with executives from Macy's. The announcement comes the morning after the Marching Black & Gold brought home yet another WGI World Championship — in Indoor Winds, Percussion placed third — from the annual competition in Dayton, Ohio. The tiredness didn't dim the excitement in the room. Participants in 8th grade band from Avon Middle School North and South joined current band students for the announcement. They will be sophomores when the parade occurs.
"First things first, I really am a fan of [the Avon Marching Black & Gold] program," said Wesley Watley, Creative Producer for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "I've heard the words 'Avon High School', I've seen how high you've placed, and I've watched what you do on the field. ... Avon is the kind of program that just means excellence across the board, no matter what venue you're in."
You've created something in Avon that is unrivalled. I want people to be eating their turkey next year and talking about Avon High School. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Creative Producer Wesley Watley
Watley is excited to give Avon's students the opportunity to perform on an entirely new stage; this will be Avon's first appearance in this storied parade. He explained that more than 30 million people watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade each year, and he wants to be sure viewers have the opportunity to see the Marching Black & Gold in this venue. "You've created something in Avon that is unrivalled," Watley told students. "I want people to be eating their turkey next year and talking about Avon High School."
"On behalf of the band, the school, and the community, we want to say thank you very much for the invitation," Avon High School Band Director Kevin Welborn told the team from Macy's. Turning his attention to the students, he said, "I am more than proud of you all. There are not many things — I can't think of many at all — that the AHS band has not had the opportunity to do. This is one of those things that has never taken place here before. ... It's amazing."
"This is a secret that I've known about for a good month," said AHS Principal Matt Shockley. "I have been really excited for this day. This [honor] is a culmination of the excellence that has been achieved here year after year. I'm happy that all of you get to have this experience. Millions of people across the nation are going to see what we already know: how awesome you guys are."
As part of the announcement, the Macy’s team presented the Avon Marching Black & Gold with a $10,000 fundraising kick-off donation. The band will spend the next 18 months planning for their parade appearance through rehearsals and creative fundraising events. The coming month will not only bring the school and the community closer, but it will also prepare the students for the march of a lifetime.
Learn more by visiting avonband.com.