Politicians, marching bands and Bolivian dancers participate
The sky was clear on Saturday, Nov. 18, for the ninth annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade in Downtown Silver Spring. Just before 10 a.m., police officers on motorcycles revved their engines and led the way down Georgia Avenue. Officers on Segways joined the usual procession of the color guard, the police car and motorcycle motorcade as well as mounted park rangers. Blasting the "Cops" theme song "Bad Boys," the police procession was only the beginning of a barrage of free candy, creative floats and politics.
The current County Executive, Doug Duncan, and the County Executive-elect, Ike Leggett, preceded the requisite turkey float. Though all smiles, they did not shout "Thank you" to the crowd, as Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD 8th) did. Van Hollen chose to shake hands with spectators, wishing them a happy Thanksgiving.
In full Redskins apparel, the Washington Redskins marching band whipped the crowd into a frenzy when they played the team's fight song "Hail to the Redskins." Then the levees broke and Boy and Girl Scouts flooded the streets. At least nine packs and four troops were present, and it seemed like the crowd of Cubs and Brownies would never end. Later came the first of four Bolivian dance troops. The spectacular costumes and the dance music was a nice change of pace from the other participants.
Squished between clowns and square dancers was the Blair marching band. Sporting their red and white uniforms and top hats, they played the Blair fight song and "Land of a Thousand Dances." A few politicians later, more Girl Scouts came marching in. The army of girls, over 20 troops thick, was overwhelming, and they ate as much candy as they threw to the crowd. Just like the cookies they sell, young Girl Scouts can only be enjoyed in moderation.
The Northwood marching band was also present. In red and black uniforms, the band performed the Christmas classic, "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch." Forgiving some awkward marching, as Northwood's music program is only three years old, it was a fine performance, especially by their drum line. As usual, local businesses had representatives march alongside trucks with their logo, hand out pamphlets or march with balloons. Noticeably missing this year were the multitudes of Shriners that usually march in local parades.
Perhaps the hordes of girl scouts and Bolivian dancers scared off the Shriners, but the repetitiveness of the parade did not diminish the excitement of the spectators or the performers. As Blair marching band sponsor Michelle Roberts said, "[The parade] is a good opportunity to play in the community." The spirit in the community was palpably celebratory, and the enthusiasm of the participants, including Mr. Santa Clause himself, made the parade very merry indeed.
The Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade will be rebroadcasted on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, on channel 8.
Iliya Smithka. Iliya Smithka will graduate from neither the CAP nor the Magnet Program. However, she somehow managed to get a decent education. While representing no particular program during her stint on Silver Chips Online, Iliya was a spectacular staff writer, although she never really mastered the ... More »