People were gathering all over the streets of New York City as early as 3 a.m. to get a good spot for the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade at 9 a.m.
A Castleton reporter was among the thousands there, having traveled to watch cheerleaders from Mill River High School perform in between celebrities and humungous inflatable characters.
Before it started, people were singing Christmas carols to pass the time. The cheer mom section was overheard yelling “We got spirit yes we do, we got spirit, how about you!”
The start of the parade was full of excitement and screaming and pictures being taken from every angle. People were pushing and shoving trying to get to the front.
Soon after all the clowns and giant balloons passed by, the crowd went wild when the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty went by on their float. People were going crazy being so close that they could almost touch the beards.
Following the Dynasty crew was Kelly Pickler, Ariana Grande, Austin Mahone, Miss America, Florida Georgia Line, Fall Out Boy and the Goo Goo Dolls. Finally the Macy’s Cheerleaders were in eyesight and the cheer moms were screaming with joy pushing to the front to snap a picture.
Team members were flipping through the air cheering “We love New York!” over and over. In no time, they passed by leaving their fans wanting more. Family members and friends of the cheerleaders stepped back to look at the pictures they captured, the parade continued on.
But while their appearance in front of their local fans was quick, the memory of the appearance won’t be for Mill River Senior Annie Cotrupi.
“The experience was once in a lifetime and I had so much fun,” she said, although she added that it wasn’t as awe inspiring at first. “But once we turned the corner and saw Macy’s in the distance, the entire experience changed and my heart stopped. This very moment was where all of our hard work would pay off,” she said. “After the performance, people were screaming and cheering for us. It made this whole experience really come to life.”
Castleton sophomore Haley Cotrupi, sister of the Mill River cheerleader, was excited for her sister.
“It was a proud moment for my family and I to sit on the sidelines and watch my sister lead the Macy’s cheerleaders through the parade,” she said.