Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Published 2:01 am Sunday, November 18, 2012

More than 10,000 participants are scheduled to march in the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and among them will be four local dancers who have been preparing for their trip to the Big Apple.

“We have a video of the dance we had to learn and have been practicing a lot,” said Erin Fordice, one of the four dancers.

Erin is the 15-year-old daughter of Dan and Ann Claire Fordice.

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Erin said once they arrive in New York City they will continue to practice the dance, but also will work on formations with more than 600 dancers from across the country.

Dancers were selected to perform in the parade as part of the Spirit of American Productions, said Debra Franco, owner of the Debra Franco School of Dance.

Spirit of America consists of dancers between the ages of 14 and 18 from American Dance and Drill Teams, Crowd Pleasers, Golden State Spirit Association Marching Auxiliaries, ShowMakers, Showtime International and various high school and studio dancers from across the country.

Along with Fordice, Julie Mabry, 17, Mary Katherine McCaa, 16, and Marneicha Wilson, 16, will be making the trip accompanied by Franco.

Mary, who is the daughter Charlie and Melissa McCaa, said she is excited about flying on the airplane.

“I have never flown before,” an excited Mary said.

Both Julie and Mary said this will be their first visit to New York City and look forward to watching the parade, seeing the sights and shopping.

Giggling, the girls also said they are feeling like they are important since they are getting to dance in the Macy’s Parade.

Julie is the daughter of Karen and Steve Mabry.

Wilson who said she is also excited about making the trip is the daughter of Marnique Wilson.

The schedule for the girls, along with hours of practice includes a Broadway show, a tour of the Empire State Building, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and a subway ride to Macy’s for some shopping.

The dancers are scheduled to perform during the first hour of the parade at Herald Square and Erin encouraged everyone to watch NBC, since it would be the only TV station to cover their entire dance.

With an estimated crowd of 2 to 3.5 million spectators and more than 50 million home viewers watching the annual parade, Erin said, “I’m real excited about performing in the parade it is a once in a life time opportunity.”


Four local dancers will perform in the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Parade begins at 9 a.m. Thursday and the dancers are schedule to perform during the first hour of the event. NBC will carry the entire dance performance.

Fun Facts about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

• The first parade in 1924 was called the Macy’s Christmas Day Parade although it took place on Thanksgiving Day.

• Live animals including camels, goats, elephants, and donkeys, were a part of the parade that inaugural year.

• In 1927, Macy’s introduces the world famous giant helium balloons. The first balloons included Felix the Cat and Toy Soldier.

• The balloons were released and equipped with a return address label. Macy’s offered a prize for their return.

• In 1932, Clarence Chamberlain, an aviator flying above New York City, caught the Pig Balloon in mid air in order to claim the prize money.

• Santa Claus has ended the parade every year except 1933, the only year in which he led the parade.

• The parade was cancelled in 1942, 1943, and 1944 due to World War II.

• Macy’s is the world’s second largest consumer of helium. The United States government is the first.

• More than 50,000 clowns have delighted millions of children along the parade route.