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Kimball Marching Band In Chicago Parade

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Every year, 25 bands from around the nation are selected to march in Chicago’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. KDLT caught up with the marching band representing South Dakota before they left for the windy city.

For the students of Kimball High School, Thanksgiving Day was more than a family gathering.

It was an experience of a lifetime as they marched their way through Chicago in the 79th Annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

But getting there started way before their band director Sara Olson put the audition tape together.

"We've come a long way since the 5th grade. When we started out we had no idea, just like anybody else,” said Cadee Nikolaus, a senior.

Cadee Nikolaus is a senior in the Kiotes Marching Band; she said most of her peers picked up instruments for the first time in 5th-grade.

In 7th-grade, they learn how to march.

Fast-forward a few years to August of this year when practice began. Then, the kids showed off their skills to a crowd of more than 400,000 people in November.

"We started out practicing the music and just getting it memorized. And then we played it while marching outside and then we added in the formations later,” said Nikolaus.
And even though it was the students making all the music in Thursday’s parade, the students said it wouldn’t have been possible without their director.

“She is always pushing us to do better and get to that next level,” said Jesse Taylor, a senior.

"She's really awesome. She's always been there for us, and really pushed us to do our best. And she really believes in us,” said Brooklynn Urban, a senior.

Without her, seniors like Nikolaus wouldn’t have had the experience of a lifetime.
 “And over the years we've really become a really successful band. And I'm really proud of everything we've accomplished,” said Nikolaus.

For many of the students it was their first time to Chicago. After marching, the group got the chance to do a little sight seeing.
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