By Cara Pattison
The Pride of Yukon marches to London in 2025
The Yukon High School Marching Band has officially been given the nod to travel across the pond to be a part of the prestigious London’s New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP) and festival.
The London’s New Year’s Day Parade is the largest of its kind in the world, with 500 million global viewers, 650,000 street spectators, 10,000 participants and the largest single day television broadcast out of the United Kingdom.
United States television network Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) covers the entire event live, as well.
The day of fun includes a festival series with the LNYDP Concert Series and the London International Choral Festival. These concerts will be performed in some of London’s most internationally acclaimed music venues.
In the past, marching bands from the United States have been invited from such states as New Hampshire, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, and California.
A talent scout for the LNYDP, Mike Lowery, saw the YHS band play last year and informally extended an offer to participate in the parade.
Last week, dignitaries from the organization flew to Yukon to officially extend the invitation to the band, YHS Band Director James Rivera said.
“A black Suburban pulled-up to the Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium on Friday, and out stepped four dignitaries,” Rivera said.
“Once inside, they extended to our students and parents the official offer to march in the Jan. 1, 2025 parade in London. I’m happy to say that the offer was proudly accepted.”
During the ceremony, Rivera was presented with a plate from Buckingham and the YHS band played a brief concert for the dignitaries.
GOOD LUCK UMBRELLA
Drum major Kierra Mickle was presented with an umbrella as a token of good luck.
“A few years ago, it rained so hard at the parade that it was a bad experience,” Rivera said. “So now, when an offer to march is extended, the organization presents one performer with an umbrella that must be carried everywhere until the day of the parade. This fun gesture is supposed to ensure no rain on the day of the parade.
“So, if you see a young lady carrying an umbrella around town, you’ll know it’s Kierra making sure our parade doesn’t get rained on.”
With the official offer secured, the YHS Marching Band will head to jolly, old London to participate in the Jan. 1, 2025 parade. All kids in the band at that time, up to 200 students, are eligible to go – but it is not required.
While there, the students will visit historical sites and see a play.
The week of culture culminates with the Pride of Yukon marching in the LNYDP down the historic streets of Piccadilly, Regents Street St. James’s, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square, and Whitehall.
The YHS Band Boosters club will be fundraising from now through October 2024 to raise money to pay for the trip.
Beginning in November, they will be reaching out to the community to help raise funds to send the kids.