SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Riverview High School Kiltie band held practice Wednesday morning, a rehearsal for their upcoming performance in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“I think we are prepared. I think we have done a lot of practice and I think we are really ready, obviously there is going to be a little bit of nerves but I don’t think it will be too bad,” said Riverview senior Kristen Livesey.
The Kilties will head down 5th Avenue with an additional 200,000 parade participants on the mile-and-a-half long route.
“We are expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of a million people in the streets watching, so it will be 10-12 people deep all the way down the parade route on both sides of the street probably,” said Riverview Band Director Mark Spreen.
The Kiltie band has a long tradition of performing on national stages.
“We’ve been in the Macy’s Parade for several years in the past, and it is extremely exciting to have the honor to be a part of something like this,” said Drum Major Judson Cressey.
But for many of the more than 150 students, the St Patty’s Day event will be there first big experience.
“We are all pretty stoked! This is my first big trip, I know it is for a lot of people and I know we are all really pumped about going,” said Livesey.
“This is my first opportunity to really shine.”
After practice, the band loaded their instruments on a truck for New York. The students will fly out early Friday morning and enjoy a little sightseeing before the parade.
“We are going to see Phantom of the Opera which is just thrilling, we are going to see Blue Man Group and we will be sight seeing everywhere.”
The New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade starts at 11am next Monday morning. The whole parade will be broadcast live on the Internet at http://nycstpatricksparade.org/home.html