The Boardman Spartan Marching Band returned from Chicago early Saturday morning after a busy, but fun-filled Thanksgiving break. The Band accepted its recurring invitation to march in the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade where it was seen by over 400,000 people on State Street.
Millions more saw the group’s performance as the parade was broadcast nationally on Chicago’s WGN network and online. This was the 89th year of the Thanksgiving Day parade in Chicago, though it has had many different names based on sponsorship. Director of Bands Thomas Ruggieri says the Band has been in this parade more than any other high-profile event. He says, “The Chicago parade has been a once-every-four-years destination for us since the early 1970s.”
While in Chicago, the students enjoyed a dinner/dance reception for all of the marching bands in the parade. BHS Jazz Ensemble 1 got to perform a set during dinner for over 2,000 student musicians and their band directors. Also on the itinerary was a Thanksgiving dinner cruise on Lake Michigan,Black Friday shopping and sightseeing on The Magnificent Mile, the Willis Tower Sky deck, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Millennium Park, Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza, and the Broadway in Chicago production of FINDING NEVERLAND.