Every year, Hallie Rubenstein and her family watch the the marching bands and balloons of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. But this year, Rubenstein won’t watch the parade; she’ll be in it.
Rubenstein, a senior at Lafayette High School, has been selected as one of five students from Virginia to march with Macy’s Great American Marching Band in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Last year, after watching the marching band in the parade on TV, Rubenstein said she heard the announcers say the band was accepting applications.
“I looked at my dad and said ‘Hey, maybe I’ll just try out and see if I can make it,’” Rubenstein said. “And I made it.”
Rubenstein said she has had overwhelmingly supportive reactions from her family and community about marching in the parade.
“Many people watch the parade, like 3million people are going to be in New York, and 50 million watching at home, and everyone is just so excited because they know someone walking in the parade … and they’re going to look out for me which is so exciting,” Rubenstein said.
The Great American Marching Band is comprised of approximately 225 students from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. While she’s a drum major at Lafayette, Rubenstein will play the piccolo in the parade. Rubenstein said she picked up the instrument during her sophomore year.
“Most colleges do not march the flute, they march the piccolo, so I wanted to make the switch so I could prepare for hopefully marching in a college band,” Rubenstein said.
While she’s traveling alone to New York, Rubenstein’s parents are delighted she will get to experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Once there, she’ll meet up with a group of other students for her seven-day trip.
“I’m excited to represent Lafayette and Williamsburg and Virginia,” Rubenstein said.
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.