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WLRN's Award Winning Documentary: Journey to the Macy's Parade!

It’s an iconic American holiday tradition like fireworks on the Fourth of July, trick or treating on Halloween or hunting for Easter eggs.  Every year on Thanksgiving Day before the family gathers around the table for a celebratory feast, all eyes are on the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Tarpon Springs High School Marching Band performs at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Credit Mia Laurenzo / WLRN
Tarpon Springs High School Marching Band performs at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

For 91 years, this parade signifies the official start of the holiday season, but what does it really take to be a part of America’s favorite pastime? Journey to the Macy’s Paradegives an uplifting and exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a part of one of the largest events of the year. Each year, thousands of parade participants take to the streets of Manhattan to trek 2 ½ miles in front of 3 million spectators and 50 million television viewers.

Our story features Florida's Tarpon Springs Marching Band, one of only ten marching bands selected to perform in the 2013 parade and Chuck Tatelbaum, a serious Fort Lauderdale attorney by day and a Macy’s Parade clown by choice.  Chuck joins 900 other clown participants as they prepare for the big day. From practice to performance and everything in between, viewers will watch their journey as they prepare for their biggest event yet.

For American's who have made this parade part of their family's Thanksgiving tradition, this entertaining documentary can only confirm the hard work, passion and process it takes to make this much-loved magical display of pageantry that excites fans of all ages.


Hear an excerpt from the film here:

And see updates from the journey here.

Copyright 2020 WLRN 91.3 FM. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM.

Mia Laurenzo is a 30-year veteran of public television in Miami. She began her career learning every aspect of video production. Currently she is a writer, producer, on-air host and promotions coordinator for TV, radio and the web. Her experiences include producing for a series, special events and historical documentaries. As a native Floridian, she is a perfect fit for South Florida's Storyteller Station, WLRN. She has produced award winning, nationally distributed documentaries like Journey to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Paradewhere one year she followed a high school band and a clown as they prepared for the big day and the next year, she had the privilege of being a clown herself. Previously, she produced Weird Florida: On the Road Again,a sequel to the highly successful show Weird Florida: Roads Less Traveled,where the cast and crew travel over 1,500 miles searching the Sunshine State’s weirdest and wackiest places. On a more serious note and what she considers to be her most important work, she produced Out of Darkness, Into Light, a documentary on child sexual abuse,which delved into the lives of three adult survivors, a show in which she was awarded her first of two Emmys.
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