Nogales High School Band and Color Guard practice on their field for upcoming state competitions, Tuesday, October 7, 2008. The La Puente school band has been selected to march in the 82nd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, a huge honor. (Correspondent photo by Mike Mulleny)
Saxophones won't fit in an airplane's luggage rack and clarinets never make it through the airport metal detectors.
But the Nogales High School band members are still excited about their upcoming trip to New York City to march in the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Sure, we've all admired the giant balloons of Shrek, Snoopy and SpongeBob SquarePants. And the floats like last year's The Care Bears Winter Fun-Derland are always fun.
But this year, we have a local group to root for as they appear on national television in one of the nation's best-known parades. In fact, more than 44 million Americans will see the Noble Regiment strut their stuff in high- definition TV.
Band director Brad Pollock said 175 bandmembers will fly to the Big Apple. Of course, it will take four planes landing at two airports to handle the load. But that's the only way they could get everyone to New York by Nov. 25.
"I'd say 90 percent of the students have never been to New York City, so it should be a great experience for them," Pollock noted.
Karina Edratin, 17, and Jennon Quinto, 16, are looking forward to their first foray to Manhattan. Edratin plays the flute in the Noble Regiment, while Quinto prefers the altosax.
They'll get to see some of the most famous New York sites on foot. The parade runs south along Central Park, before turning onto Broadway at Columbus Circle. It passes through Times Square and continues to 7 th Avenue.
Pollack applied more than two years to have La Puente represented in the Thanksgiving event. Macy's takes only the top bands in the country.
When Macy's tapped Nogales for 2008, the band began to plan fund-raisers for their big trip.
Flutist Monica Nadal and saxophonist Jordan Racasa have sold everything from candy and cookie dough to make-up. The 17-year-olds have to come up with the $1,500 that everyone needs for the trip.
"We even had a 10-hour march-a-thon that raised $10,000, but we still need donations to help send the band to New York," Pollack said.
The band director figures it will cost more than $238,000 to march in Macy's Parade.
"It will cost $8,000 to $10,000 for our truck to carry all the band equipment to New York," Pollack noted.
The enthusiastic band director hopes local companies and community members will help sponsor the Thanksgiving trip. Donations may be sent to the Nogales Noble Regiment Boosters, Box 2158, Walnut, CA 91789.
"Some of our families are still a few hundred dollars short and the parade is only eight weeks away. I know it's not easy with this economy, but we would appreciate any support," Pollack said.
Meanwhile the Noble Regiment is working twice as hard to get ready for the state championships, which are only a few days before the Macy's parade.
"We have to rehearse for that, as well as the Thanksgiving parade," Pollack said.
But all the extra work will be worth it when America's eyes focus on the Nogales High School band on Thanksgiving Day.
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