The WRAL-TV Raleigh 69th annual Christmas Parade took off Saturday, Nov 23. This celebration kicks off the Triangle’s Christmas season.
“The atmosphere was energetic and happy, and this year’s parade was the perfect way to end my last colorguard season!” said Morgan Barnes, senior and Color Guard co-captain.
At 10 a.m, the heterogeneous collection of 115 entries–performers, floats, marchers, and of course, the jolly guy with the red hat — began the 1.4 mile route on Hillsborough Street at St. Mary’s Street, near the Bell tower. The parade proceeded through downtown to the State Capitol, before turning south onto Fayetteville Street towards the Duke Energy Center of the Performing Arts.
Along with the floats and balloons, music from local bands and great choreography from local dance teams diverted the thousands of spectators. Beauty queens, miniature horses, and air shows added to the spectacle.
The dance ensemble accompanied the marching band during the parade for the second year.
“What we did was first, met at McDonalds for a team breakfast, then we walked the crowd until we reached the band!” said Zhane Riley, senior.
The ensemble performed “musical loops” to the band’s holiday musical selections. They danced, waved to spectators while walking, then repeated their routine throughout the parade.
“There was a period of waiting, you didn’t know what would happen, but it was really exciting,” said Ms. Hoban, dance ensemble instructor. “The interesting thing is, once it, starts it is over so fast because it is so intense.”
The group could not ignore the excitement from their fans.
“The best part was the children because they enjoyed seeing the band and dancers,” said Hoban.
“The crowd was amazing and loved us. It was an amazing experience,” said Riley.
Drumline and ColorGuard
The members both the drumline and colorguard had overwhelmingly positive reflections upon their performance.
“On behalf of the drumline, we played very clean considering how many times we played the same music pieces,” said Sean Harden, senior. Harden is the director of percussion ensembles.
“The color guard’s performance in the parade was fantastic. I couldn’t help but smile bigger every time I looked over at the colorguard girls,” said Morgan Barnes, senior.
“I thought our performance in the parade was an excellent end to our marching season and a great kick-off to Christmas,” said Nicola McIrvine, senior and drum major. “We played with great spirit, and were complemented by WRAL for our sharp look.”