2020 is shaping up to be a spectacular year for marching band performances across the United States, especially when it comes to parades!
With several iconic annual parade traditions around the country, marching bands of all shapes and sizes have several opportunities to shine and represent their school and hometown pride.
Many, if not all of these performances require an audition tape and rigorous selection process, but if you make the cut it is so worth it to be able to perform along some of America's most iconic streets!
Here are Adventure Student Travel's top 5 picks for the Best Parades for Student Marching Bands in 2020!
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Performance
NYC - November 26, 2020
An iconic Thanksgiving holiday tradition for millions of Americans, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is one of the most exciting marching band performance opportunities of 2020.
Marching bands all across the country have the opportunity to participate in the parade if selected after submitting an application and DVD of a field show performance. The Macy's Band Selection Committee will review the applicants thoroughly and select their choices early May of the year before the performance date, about 18 months before the parade is scheduled.
Just about 3.5 million people view this parade live, along with 50 million at home. Be a part of the cast of over 10,000 performers as you take part in the performance of a lifetime!
The Rose Parade
Pasadena - January 1st, 2020
Each year the Pasadena Tournament of Roses attracts millions of guests, this annual New Years Day tradition consisting of both the Rose Bowl Game and Rose Parade.
The Rose Parade is a century-old tradition that takes festively flowered floats, brilliantly boisterous bands, and plenty of party people down the 5.5 miles of Colorado Boulevard. The bands that can participate range from high school and college marching bands to military bugle bands, as well as brass bands, bagpipes, percussion, and more. The bands that march in this parade are selected based upon their musicianship, marching ability, uniqueness, entertainment value, and special interest, with several different bands chosen from around the United States, and a handful from around the world.
The theme of the 2020 Rose Parade is 'The Power of Hope', celebrating the influence of optimism and hope.
National Independence Day Parade
DC - July 4th, 2020
Get patriotic with a performance in our nation's capital as you and your marching band buddies celebrate our county's 244th birthday!
At 11:45 am on July 4th the National Independence Day Parade takes place along historic Constitution Avenue on the National Mall, between 7th and 17th Streets. The National Park Service hosts this parade event annually, with plenty of musicians, floats, and festive fun all throughout the lineup.
Bands are chosen based on their home location and stylistic diversity, the parade trying to get a vast majority of the United States represented within the lineup. Bands must submit a recording, photos, biographical information with experiences, honors, past adjudications and rankings, and the like.
Bands are also invited to participate in the evening concert at the Capitol Building, PBS' A Capitol Fourth.
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade
Chicago - November 21st, 2020
Between Oak Street and Wacker Drive, you will find millions of twinkling lights strewn about the tree-lined street during the holiday season, and nothing highlights the beauty of the street like the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade.
There are typically 5-8 different high school bands chosen to perform in this event, surrounded by over 1 million spectators on the sideline watching the various lighted floats, other marching bands, balloons, and performing artists.
Immediately following the performance your band group can enjoy the spectacular firework show by the river and enjoy the night!
Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade
Waikiki - December 7th, 2020
Pay respects to those who lost their lives during the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor by participating in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in 2020, this event a well-respected and highly attended one in Hawaii each year.
On the 7th there will be an opening ceremony performance at 4:30, followed by the big parade, followed by a mass performance with students from both Japan and the U.S at the closing ceremony within the Waikiki Shell. The parade runs along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. The lineup of performers adds up to around 60 different groups total on average, the groups including other high school marching bands, military bands, dignitaries, and international officials.
This parade is an excellent way to learn about Pearl Harbor, pay your respects, and enjoy a Hawaiian vacation all in one.