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Proviso East's Marching Band Selected to Lead Chicago's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Proviso East Marching Pirates, one of the top bands in the state of Illinois, has been chosen to lead Chicago's McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, 2008.

After a five month long search, McDonald's Owners of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana and the Chicago Festival Association announced that Proviso East High School's marching band will be the official McDonald's® Thanksgiving Parade Band.

The band was surprised with a visit and presentation from world-famous Ronald McDonald during halftime at Proviso East's homecoming football game on October 11th.  Proviso East is only the second high school band to ever be selected as the official McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade Band.

"I am really proud of these kids," said Proviso East Band Director, Reginald Wright. "I am proud of the way they have worked over the years to gain recognition and be the best.  I know that they will live up to all of the standards and expectations set before them."

Each year the parade draws over 300,000 spectators. Approximately 72 million viewers watch from their homes on cable television (WGN-TV9 and WGN-DT 9.1) nationwide.  The McDonald's Thanksgiving Day parade is one of only three parades in the country to be covered live, in its entirety, on a national television broadcast.

This year's parade is expected to be bigger and better than ever. It includes appearances by the World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales and the flame twirling Barefoot Hawaiians. Spectators will also be delighted by the acrobatics of the Jesse White Tumbling Team, and amazed by the rhythmic movements of Renacer Boliviano Folkloric and an over-the-top opening performance by the stars of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey®. The parade features approximately 24 of the nation's top high school marching bands. Proviso East High School will lead the magical and high-spirited procession.

"Out of hundreds of area marching bands, Proviso East High School stood out with talent, creativity and showmanship," said Peter Smith, associate executive director of Chicago Festival Association. "We are excited to have chosen the official McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade Band, and we look forward to having them help kick-off this joyous occasion."

The 75th annual McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade will be marching down State Street on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

To learn more about the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade log on to: http://www.chicagofestivals.org/

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