FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – After more than a year of hard work and preparation the Clovis North High School marching band and color guard strut through the streets of New York City today in the 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Parents and teachers say today was a culmination of hard work between practicing, fundraising, and planning.

It was an emotional day for everyone who had a hand in making this trip a reality.

Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of New York to watch the parade where the Clovis North marching band and the color guard took center stage.

David Lesser, band director, said, “There were people up in the skyscrapers watching from their windows. They had their windows open standing on the windowsill.”

One of the fathers, Mike Hazelrigg, says it was a moment that he and his son will never forget.  

“It teared me up about 8 or 10 times just thinking about it… Afterward, I ran up to my son and he had a huge sigh. We did it.”

It was a hectic morning for Clovis north’s performers. Students woke up at one thirty in the morning, rolled out of bed, and headed to Central Park to prepare to be seen by millions.

“The rehearsal we did went by really fast. I think it went by faster than anyone expected. Was really about 5 minutes”, said David lesser band director

After the short practice and quick breakfast, it was time to march in the two-and-a-half-mile journey.

The yearly march began in upper Manhattan and traveled through the city ending at Herald Square.

While the opportunity was exhilarating Hazelrigg says he is happy it’s over.

“We have a lot of fun but I think there is a big sigh of relief”, Hazelrigg continued. 

Clovis North was the one band chosen out of 100 who auditioned to represent California in this year’s parade.

We wanted to speak to members of the band and color guard but after a night of nerves and a long day of performing, students returned to their hotel rooms to get some sleep before having Thanksgiving dinner on the Hudson.