Band heads to Philadelphia

Published 3:43 pm Friday, November 21, 2008

Sunday, the Bainbridge High School Marching Bearcats Band students will embark on their long-awaited journey to Philadelphia, Pa., to take part in the city’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

As proclaimed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, the band will serve as the official “Ambassadors of Goodwill” representing the state of Georgia in the parade.

Band Director Paschal Ward said the BHS band has brought much pride and fame to Decatur County and Georgia.

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The historic parade, this year celebrating the 89th anniversary of the event, is the oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the United States. The parade is named the 6ABC/IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Students took part in numerous fund-raising activities to earn their way to the big show including car washes and sales of sodas and dinners.

On the trip, students will visit a number of cities and sites on their way up the East Coast on charter buses. They will stop in Spartanburg, S.C.; South Hills, Va.; Washington D.C.; Fairfield, N.J.; New York City. N.Y.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Hillsboro, N.C.; and Atlanta, Ga., before returning home.

The trip’s itinerary is packed full of eye-opening experiences for the students to enjoy.

While in New York City, they will see “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway; visit Ellis Island and see the Statue of Liberty by ferry; see “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City Music Hall; go shopping on Fifth Avenue; and visit Time Square, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Empire State Building.

While in Washington, D.C., they will tour the Lincoln Memorial and visit the Vietnam Memorial, Korean Memorial and World War II Memorial.

In Philadelphia they will tour the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

And of course what trip would be complete without a stop for lunch at The Varsity in downtown Atlanta on the way home.

“The lessons students learn on trips such as these go far beyond the classroom,” Ward said.

He said in addition to experiencing the thrill of performing in front of thousands of people, students learn valuable economic and organizational skills as well as getting to visit historic sites and experience how people live in different areas of the country.

“Memories and skills will be developed, which will enable our future adults to grow into adulthood with a much better understanding of the responsibilities that lie ahead of them,” Ward said.

The BHS band has been selected to escort Santa Claus in the parade, which means they will be the last band seen in the parade. The parade begins at 9 a.m., which Mediacom said it will broadcast on cable Channel 22.