Holiday parade lifts spirits

Downtown Altoona hosts its annual holiday parade known as the Spirit of Christmas from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 30.

The parade route will start at Tenth Avenue and Ninth Street, then proceeds to Green Avenue, Twelfth Street and Eleventh Avenue.

A tree lighting ceremony and fireworks will take place following the end of the parade at Heritage Plaza to ring in the Christmas Season.

Many floats filled with people from a variety of organizations participate in the parade as well as the school’s own marching band, majorettes and silks.

Student participants have the same feelings about being in the parade.

“Because it makes me happy to be able to do something that I love and be around people who are genuinely nice,” sophomore drummer Cameron Havens said.

“It is a fun experience and especially to see all the people who come out to enjoy it,” sophomore silk squad member Destiny Boone said.

“Because I love being with my majorette friends but we get to do something different other than twirling a baton,” sophomore majorette Raquel Dunio said.

Havens, Boone and Dunio all have been in this parade for many years.

“This will be my fourth year with the school but will be my ninth all together,” Boone said.

“I have been in this parade since I was like six with the carolettes and with the school since seventh grade,” Dunio said.

“I have been in the parade for five years,” Havens said.

Both the band and fronts have been preparing for the past couple weeks to do well in the parade.

“We have multiple practices throughout the weeks coming up to it and we learn new routines that we use specifically for that parade,” Dunio said.

“We have two practices we learn the routine and our lines,” Boone said.

“We prepare by tuning our instruments, working with various instructors and just warming up in general,” Havens said.

With all that goes on during the parade Havens, Boone and Dunio might have different views on what their favorite things are about the parade.

“Getting to be with my friends and seeing all the happy children,” Dunio said.

“My favorite part is seeing the people in the crowd smile and fill with excitement as I walk past,” Havens said.

“Seeing everyone so happy to experience the parade and hangout with my friends,”Boone said.

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