Homewood’s Patriot Band to make 9th appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Homewood High School Patriot Band marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2011. Screenshot from You Tube.

Here is a Thanksgiving Day conversation starter.

What school has appeared in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, more than any other school in the U.S. outside the New York area?  Answer: Homewood High School Patriot Band.

For the 9th time in 40 years, Homewood High School will be sending the Patriot Band to the Big Apple, a tradition that started in 1978.

Here is a video of their first appearance 40 years ago!

The largest Thanksgiving Day parade in the nation, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be watched by more than 3 million spectators along the parade route, while an additional  40 million people will view the iconic Thanksgiving tradition on television.

Nearly half of the students are in the band

Participating in the Patriot band is a big deal in Homewood. As one Homewood High School parent jokingly described to Bham Now  the importance of the Patriot Band  to the school,  “When a Homewood student enters middle school they are “handed an instrument.”

According to the Homewood High School Patriot Band website approximately 40% of the student body participates in the band.

Other Fun facts:

  • In 1981, the Patriot band actually led off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here is the video

  • The band took two days to make it up to New York City by bus earlier this week. According to parents, they will be seeing the Broadway play,  School of Rock (that’s appropriate) and Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.
  • On the morning of the parade, the band is scheduled to rehearse at Macy’s between 2:30-3:30a.m.  That’s right – in the MORNING!

425 Members

  • The band has 425 members marching.
  • The Homewood band is one of of 12 bands from across the nation. participating in this year’s parade, including Ohio State University’s band.
  • Along with Macy’s, the Homewood marching band has participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade more than any school in Alabama.

Alumni Band to support the Football team

With the 400+ member up in New York, the football team will be without the High School band for its playoff game against Pinson Valley on Friday night.

Taking the Patriots Band’s place will be middle school students and alumni band members.  Now that will be a cool gathering of 7th and 8th graders with alumni band members. Here are the details, especially if you are an alum.

Generational

One final tidbit about the Homewood High School Patriot Band.  The high school itself was established in 1972.  It is quite a remarkable story that the band played at Macy’s just 6 years later. What an incredible run. Nine appearances in four decades.

Don’t miss the Homewood High School Patriot Band on Thanksgiving morning. The parade runs from 9:00am to Noon. Set your DVRs.

 

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.