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How To Do

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Date: Thursday, November 24

Call Time: 2:30 am SHARP in Full Uniform!

1. Band Call for Macy's Dress Rehearsal

Call Time: 2:30 am SHARP in Full Uniform!

East side of Fifth Avenue at 36th Street.

Please look up your route ahead of time! All MTA transit will be operating on a
Sunday schedule for Thanksgiving! Check out www.mta.info for more information

Please consider arriving early to help unload—there will be a special place in our hearts for all who do!

We have just 30 minutes at the truck to get overlays and plumes; get banners, flags, confetti cannons, and instruments out of the truck and out of their cases; stow our instrument cases and bags in the truck; and be ready to move to the Macy’s Green. Those who are cold can wear jackets/coats over their uniforms until we reach the Green, when all coats must go in the guard carts until after dress rehearsal.

In case of emergency, contact your captains immediately! They will inform Marita, Sydney, and the Membership Coordinators and we will do our absolute best to get you and your equipment/instrument where you and it need to be

  • White sweatshirt
  • Layers under the sweatshirt that don’t stick out or show through (optional)
  • White Dickies/band pants
  • White web belt (optional) 
  • White Dinkles
  • White Aussie hat  (except Sousaphones. You’ll wear your purple berets or white hats)
  • White socks 
  • White or flesh-colored underwear
  • White or flesh-colored long underwear (optional)
  • White gloves, supplied at Harrison rehearsal or at stepoff (optional for parade; no gloves for the Macy’s Green performance)
  • Overlay and plume, band-supplied at stepoff
  • No sunglasses on the Green or in the parade unless they’re medically necessary (or you only have transition lenses)
  • Purple QBAC jacket
  • Layers under the jacket that don’t stick out (optional)
  • White guard pants
  • White or flesh-colored long underwear (optional)
  • White dickie
  • White Dinkles
  • Black ear muffs, band-supplied at stepoff (optional for parade; no ear muffs for Macy’s Green performance)
  • White socks
  • White or flesh-colored underwear
  • White or flesh-colored long underwear (optional)
  • Your own black gloves, with or without fingers (optional for parade; no gloves for the Macy’s Green performance)
  • No sunglasses on the Green or in the parade unless they’re medically necessary (or you only have transition lenses)
  • Purple QBAC jacket
  • Layers under the jacket that don’t stick out (optional)
  • Your own black pants
  • Long underwear (optional)
  • Your own black shoes
  • Black socks
  • White beanie hat, band-supplied at stepoff
  • Your own black gloves (optional)
  • No sunglasses on the Green or in the parade unless they’re medically necessary (or you only have transition lenses)
  • Purple QBAC jacket
  • Layers under the jacket that don’t stick out (optional)
  • White Dickies pants 
  • White web belt (optional)
  • White Dinkles
  • White beanie hat, band-supplied at stepoff
  • White socks
  • White or flesh-colored underwear
  • White or flesh-colored long underwear (optional)
  • Your own black gloves (optional for parade; no gloves for the Macy’s Green performance)
  • No sunglasses on the Green or in the parade unless they’re medically necessary (or you only have transition lenses)

Warmup: Chorale

Parade:

  1. Toxic
  2. Don’t Stop Me Now

 

Green: I Like It

Everything will likely be closed and there are no Port-a-sans at the Green. Please go prior to leaving for stepoff! We will have restrooms at our church, St. Paul & St. Andrew on the Upper West Side

2. Macy's Dress Rehearsal on the Green

Rehearsal Time: 3:15 am SHARP in Full Uniform

Sixth Avenue at 36th Street

We must all leave the truck by 3:00 am in order to get to Sixth Avenue and 36th Street by 3:15 am. Please be prompt and move quickly.

We will put our coats in the guard carts, march onto the Macy’s Green for the first time, and be stopped immediately so we can set our positions on the Green, get our lines straight, make sure the guard has room to spin, and the tracking camera can do its thing in front. We will then run I Like It once or twice through, and march off the Green. We WILL fire the confetti cannons, and we likely won’t run Don’t Stop Me, especially if the next band is ready to start; keep an eye on the drum majors for direction as we finish I Like It

3. Immediately Post-Dress Rehearsal

Time: 3:45 am (approx.)

We’ll march off the Green and continue west to meet our truck.

Get out our cases and personal belongings; stow our plumes, mellophones, sousaphones, percussion, large personal instruments (baritones, bari saxes), and band-owned equipment (banners, flags, confetti cannons, guard carts). Small cases will not fit in the truck; you must carry yours to the church. Hang on to your overlay!

4. Take Me to Church

Time: 4:15 am

St. Paul & St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 263 W 86th St (on the north side of 86th St, just west of Broadway)

Getting there: Take the 1 train at Penn Station to the 86th St stop. Cross Broadway and walk half a block west

This is the lovely warm space where we will:

  • Get our credentials (2022 Macy’s pin) for the Parade. DO NOT PUT YOUR PIN IN YOUR OVERLAY! Put it on your sweatshirt or an easy place to reveal
  • Get a loaner year-joined pin if you need one
  • Change out of our white sweatshirts/pants, rest, hang out, use the bathrooms, and enjoy band-supplied coffee, bagels, and fruit until it’s time to get dressed and head to the truck (parked out front)
 
If you decide to go out to a diner to have brunch, please do not indulge in mimosas or other fun substances until after the parade! 

If you go home between the dress rehearsal and our 6:00 am band call at the church, you must be prompt: We have one hour (6:00-7:00 am) to get our instruments/equipment off the truck and our cases/bags stowed, and to be in position at 86th Street and Central Park West.

We don’t recommend going home if you don’t live nearby on the Upper West Side; you might find subway stations closed due to crowd-control plans and be forced to walk some distance

5. Band Call at the Truck in Front of the Church in Full Uniform

Call Time: 6:00 am SHARP

St. Paul & St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 263 W 86th St (on the north side of 86th St, just west of Broadway)

We have about 20 minutes to plume up; retrieve personal instruments, cymbals, aux percussion, drum carriers, flags, maces, and banners; and stow personal cases/belongings.

Large instruments (sousaphones, snares, bass drums, quads, bells), coolers, guard carts full of water, wagons, and confetti cannons go in last for quick unloading on 86th Street, as close to Central Park West as Kyle and Leslie can get the truck.

This is your last opportunity to get everything you need for the parade/Green before the truck leaves!

We must all be at 86th Street and Central Park West by 7:00 am SHARP. To accomplish this, band-aides and those with instruments on the truck will move out first; then the truck, so Kyle and Leslie can get as close to Central Park West as possible; lastly the rest of us will move out, walking straight to Central Park West, turning left, and falling into our Macy’s Parade Block on Central Park West on the west side of the street (NOT the park side) between 86th and 87th Streets.

Bandaides/musicians will have just 10 minutes to remove instruments/equipment from the truck. They will then join us in our Parade Block on Central Park West while the truck drives into and across Central Park to head downtown

6. In the Secure Stepoff Area

Time: 7:00 am SHARP

The parade organizers will cross us over to the park side and lead us down Central Park West and into our position in the marching band lineup.

We are number 6 of 12 bands, so we will likely be placed at 82nd Street. The parade start time is 9:04 am, and as each band steps off, the remaining bands move forward.

Feel free to warm up and tune in the staging area. We must face Central Park when playing/tuning to avoid interfering with the pre-parade TV coverage. We’ll do the Chorale and tune; we’ll then quickly retune each time we move up in the lineup.

Official parade stepoff is at 77th Street. 

Once we are in the marching band lineup, percussion and sousaphones will move forward, so they are between the guard and the first rank of trombones; this will give them a head start when we move into the street to form our Parade Block prior to stepoff. We will have just one minute to get onto the street and into our block, so be prepared to hussle!

There are Port-a-sans at 81 st Street and Central Park West and possibly elsewhere along Central Park West, before we get to 77th Street

7. Official Stepoff and Parade!

Time: 9:50 am (approx.)

You’ll hear 1 preparatory whistle, 4 short whistles, and the roll-off; we step off on beat 1 of the roll-off, and then the first number in our set, Toxic

There are LOTS of CBS cameras and thousands of people when we get to Bryant Square Park, between 40th and 42nd Streets.

We’ll play approximately every other block—that’s 8-10 times through our two-chart set and will help save our chops for the grand finale. Be sure to pace yourself!

There’s one of those little triangular medians with a lightpost on it as we turn onto 59th Street at Columbus Circle.

Also, the leftmost “lane” across the entire route is for golf carts that zip up and down the route. Keep your body, instrument, and flag out of that lane

59th Street between Columbus Circle and Sixth Avenue

There are no restrooms along the parade route

8. Performance on the Macy's Green

Time: Between 10:45-11:15 am

At 37th Street, where all performing stops (to avoid interfering with the broadcast). We will quickly transition into the Macy’s Green block, quietly and carefully tune as we move forward, and then continue to blow warm air through our instruments to keep them warm

9. Portrait After the Green

Time: Between 11:00-11:30 am

After we march west on 34th Street playing Don’t Stop Me, we’ll turn left onto 7th Avenue, march south to 31st Street, turn right on 8th Avenue and to the steps of the Post Office for our official band portrait.

10. Meeting the Truck

Time: Noon (approx.)

We’ll meet the truck and celebrate a phenomenal (and historic) performance!

Tips and Tidbits

  • Bring a plastic shopping bag or trash bag that can fold up flat and fit in your pocket. While we’re at stepoff, you can put it down to sit on a curb or the pavement and keep your pants clean—just make sure it’s big enough so you don’t get your pants dirty
  • Think about the whole day when planning layers: It will be coldest when we’re standing around but you’ll be quite a bit warmer when we’re marching and the sun’s out
  • If you leave the parade route, you can’t re-enter or jump in to perform on the Green
  • No photos south of 37th Street, and absolutely no photos on the Greeen
  • Bring a change of clothes for the time between dress and performance to prevent spills on white clothes. If you’re wearing thermals under your uniform, either just wear those on break or bring a layer that can go over top of them for an easy swap
  • Don’t approach celebrities or ask for photos/autographs, etc.
  • Do your best to keep your instrument warm when we’re not playing, waiting to stepoff, or to perform on the Green: blow warm air during measures of rest and hold your mouthpiece between songs on the parade route. It’s going to be difficult to stay in tune even after we tune as a band, and it’s imperative we listen to each other to adjust
  • No alcohol and no use of mood- or mind-altering substances before the parade, or at stepoff, or during the Parade
  • No smoking/vaping in uniform or anywhere along the parade route