News>The USAF Band to March in 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy’s Parade representatives presented the official drumhead to Maj. Gen. Darren W. McDew, Col. A. Phillip Waite and Lt. Col. Raymond Powell June 4, 2011, at The Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., after receiving an invitation for The U.S. Air Force Band and U.S. Air Force Honor Guard to perform during the 2012 parade. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Raymond Mills)
Wesley Whatley, director of the band program for Macy’s Day parade, and Amy Quell, executive producer of the Macy’s Day Parade, announce the invitation of The U.S. Air Force Band and U.S. Air Force Honor Guard to the 2012 Macy’s Day Parade June 4, during the start of The USAF Band's summer concert series at the Air Force Memorial, Arlington, Va. The Macy’s Day Parade committee presented Maj. Gen. Darren W. McDew, Air Force District of Washington commander, Col. A. Phillip Waite, USAF Band commander, and Lt. Col. Raymond Powell, USAF Honor Guard commander, with the official 2012 Macy’s Day Parade Drum Head in honor of the official invitation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Raymond Mills)
6/13/2011 - JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING -- Macy's Parade officials thrilled the audience at the first outdoor concert of the summer with the announcement that The United States Air Force Band and Honor Guard will be marching in the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "This Band represents our country in such a meaningful way," said Wesley Whatley, associate creative director of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Whatley also presented a Macy's official drumhead to Air Force District of Washington commander Maj. Gen. Darren W. McDew, The U.S. Air Force Band commander Col. A. Phillip Waite and the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard commander Lt. Col. Raymond Powell.
The U.S. Air Force Band plans to send an "inaugural parade size" unit, consisting of approximately 100 performers. This is the second time the Band has been represented in the parade. The Airmen of Note with vocalists from the Singing Sergeants participated in the parade in 1994 and interacted with the crowd while riding on a float.
Colonel Waite looks forward to participating in the event next year. "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an American icon. We are thrilled with this unique opportunity to represent our Air Force in this parade which evokes such a strong sense of home and national pride," he said following Friday's announcement.
The Macy's Parade takes more than a year to plan, with bands chosen from all across the country. For more than 80 years, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has marked the official start of the holiday season for many Americans. More than 3.5 million spectators and a nationwide television audience of more than 50 million annually view the event.
Macy's Department Store first began sponsoring the parade in 1924. The tradition has continued every year except from 1942 to 1944 when the store donated rubber from the balloons to the war effort. Check back at our website for more updates as we get closer to Thanksgiving Day 2012.