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Alabama A&M University’s marching band will make history as the first HBCU to lead the highly anticipated Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Read more about this legendary moment and how thrilled the Marching Maroon and White band are to take part in the festivities.

Alabama A&M University’s Marching Maroon and White are honored to lead the 97th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Under the leadership of Director of University Bands Carlton Wright, the marching band will be accompanied by The Dancin’ Divas, an auxiliary unit of the band who will offer a special performance of the famous Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.

Wright shared with BET that after seeing Hampton University perform in the parade, he envisioned his alma mater Alabama A&M as one of the participants of the beloved parade.

“I went to my laptop and visited the Macy’s website and I found the application on there. Right away, I just started typing in the application on Thanksgiving morning two years ago,” Wright shared with the publication.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is viewed by millions every year, who attend and tune in from the comfort of their homes. Organizations and marching band programs securing an opportunity to participate is difficult, but Wright remained persistent.

Wright shares that for six weeks he compiled entries, letters of recommendation, videos, and recordings to complete the application process. In February 2022, he received the official confirmation that Alabama A&M had been selected.

The Marching Maroon and White band has put in countless hours preparing for what they believe will be a memorable 75-second performance.

There’s so much excitement and anticipation as Wright and the band are moments away from the big day.

“It’s just like everything is coming to reality now for me. From the beginning process…filling out the application, going through the process, flying to New York a couple of times to have meetings up there,” Wright revealed. “And it’s really real now. So, we’re excited about that and a little bit nervous as well … But once we get started on the first step of the parade; we will be okay.”

Wright has more aspirations for the band. After the band’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade debut, he hopes the band can perform at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

As an alumnus of Alabama A&M, Wright shares his immense pride regarding the program’s achievement.

“I am a graduate of this program and we never got a chance to do anything like this when I was here playing in the band as a student. But now I get to be able to help provide this opportunity for our students,” Wright said

Alabama A&M willb e joined by other performers for the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, including Bell Biv DeVoe, Brandy, En Vogue, and many more.

Hosted by Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends by 12:00 p.m. ET.

The parade will air on NBC and can be streamed on Peacock.