Benjamin Russell H.S. band to perform in McDonald's Thanksgiving - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Benjamin Russell H.S. band to perform in McDonald's Thanksgiving Day parade

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ALEXANDER CITY, AL (WSFA) -

They call themselves the Pride of Alex City. The Benjamin Russell High School Wildcat marching band is getting ready to do their thing in front of a big TV audience of around 10 million people, not to mention the thousands who will line the parade route.

The venue? The McDonald's Thanksgiving Day parade in Chicago, Illinois!

"We're really excited," said band director Dale Bloodworth.

Bloodworth submitted the application 11 months ago and within 24 hours Bloodwood had gotten word his 150 member band had been chosen to be the ONLY Alabama high school band to participate. The parade will consist of just 14 high school bands from across the country.

"This is really a great honor. A lot of it was based on the fact that we dress sharp and look good," Bloodworth said.

Since then the anticipation has reached a fever pitch. Drum major Natalie Hatfield will lead the way. "This is the biggest thing we've done in awhile," said Hatfield.

Jeffery Mathews will handle the baritone. "I'm looking forward to it," said Mathews.

The Wildcat band raised $125,000 from the community to make the trip happen. Band members admitted to being a bit nervous because every marching step will matter along the three-quarter mile stretch.

"My biggest fear is the band falling apart," Hatfield said with a laugh.

The practices are over and showtime is almost here for the Pride of Alex City. The band leaves early Monday at 5 in the morning by bus.

Tuning up for the big dance in the windy city!

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