Walking in the Macy’s Parade always sounded like a dream to me, and this year Camp Broadway was able to make that dream come true. While I have been working as the Social Media Correspondent for Camp Broadway for a while now, I was asked to come on board additionally as the Program Coordinator for our 8th year as a performance group in the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
Under the director of Tony Parise, 132 Camp Broadway Cast Members learned original choreography to be performed live on national TV from Herald Square. In costumes representing the colors of the rainbow, we marched alongside a brand new float, the Zhu-niverseTM , with You Tube singing sensation Savannah Outen singing the song “No Place Like Here” written for the film, ZhuZhu Pets- Quest for Zhu.
The week long program leading up to the parade was exciting and fast-paced, but nothing compared to the thrill of arriving at the American Museum of Natural History on Thanksgiving morning in my neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Decked out in a purple, fur-trimmed costume, I helped check the kids in.We had little time for a bathroom break and some photos before we were called to take place around our float. Many of the Cast Members were beside themselves as American Idol Scotty McCready set up on this float directly behind ours. All of the adults ran around snapping quick pics with each other. One of my favorite is here with Tony, our Artistic Director, and Sue Delano, one of our Choreographers, and Director of Camp Broadway’s Dance Track.
Once the parade began at 10am, we got to marching and waving at what seemed likean endless sea of cheering fans, that is, until I looked up at the skyscrapers to find hundreds more people waving from the apartments tens of stories high! A major highlight for me was getting to see several of my close friends watching the parade from different spots along the route. It was a really amazing feeling and gave me a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.
As we continued down the parade route, occasionally we would stop and do short choreographed routines for the uproarious crowd. It was a great way to break up the march which was over 2 miles long and stretched from 77th Street down to Herald Square at 34th Street. Walking through Times Square was surreal. While there was a large crowd watching (I thought standing on the TKTS Stairs was particularly smart), it was also bizarre to see all of Times Square focused on one activity; So different from the usual hustle and bustle I walk through to get to and from work!
The performance for NBC’s cameras in Herald Square was so exciting to view live (and a lot more pleasant then our rainy dress rehearsal a few nights before). The Cast Members were totally on their marks as they had rehearsed all week and it was amazing to think of all the people watching from home just like I have so many years of my life. Seeing all of the Cast Members’ happy faces while skipping off the Macys stage to head to the spot where we were going to take a group photo was really fulfilling. We had done it!
Just like when I was a little girl and Camp Broadway made my dreams come true every summer, this year my Thanksgiving dream came true.
Thank you Camp Broadway, and all of our talented Cast Members! See you back on the stage soon!