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Fresno Veterans Day Parade a West Coast spectacle (VIDEO)

A spectacle, known to most locals but rare for its size on this side of the Mississippi, takes place for the 92nd Annual Veterans Day Parade, Nov. 11. As in past years, the FC students participated in the event which took place in downtown Fresno, starting at City Hall.

Unlike other years, this year featured the 2011 U.S. Capital Christmas Tree. The tree will be transported from the Sierra Nevadas in Sonora, CA to the capital where it will be positioned, Dec. 6. The 20-day tour will stop in major cities, small towns and military bases alike, allowing the opportunity to witness “The Peoples’ Tree.”

Music Director Michael Ogdon arranged for many different groups to march in the parade. Rather than just the high school band, the junior high and elementary bands, along with the cheerleaders and color guard were all involved in order to raise numbers.

“We had a little of everything,” Ogdon said. “We had 14 elementary kids, seven junior high, 14 high school, about 30 cheerleaders and five color guard.It was a little dicey because the little ones, were not only less knowledgable but they were also squirmy.”

Previously, 900 people had taken part in the marching of the parade, 50 from FC. This year about 60 of our students, ranging from third grade and up through high school had a role in the parade.

“We had so many kids that had never done it before,” Ogdon said. “The reason we put them together was so the younger ones could learn from those with more experience, and get pushed by people who already know how to play and already know what to do.”

Some of the more experienced musicians, like sophomore Chloe Duerr, appreciate the opportunity of honoring veterans through the procession. She has been involved in the parade for the past few years.

“I think it’s really neat that we get to march to honor the people that have served our country,” Duerr said. “It is an awesome opportunity being able to march and show how we represent God with music.”

Senior Raine Hayes, marched with the band as a color guard flag twirler. As a senior she loves being involved, but will miss the experience after graduation.

“It was kind of sad, because it was my last parade ever,” Hayes said. “This year has been full of a lot of lasts: our last football game, parade and band practice.”

Although the parade was not judged, it was televised on KSEE 24 and NBC. Some students found the televised aspect to be intimidating, but soon relaxed into the routine.

“The parade is not not judged, so it’s more of a way to give back to our community,” Hayes said. “I like that the Veteran’s parade is more relaxed than competitions; you freak out at first, because it is televised, but then you realize the majority of people watching don’t have any idea what you should be doing.”

The inclusion of the younger grades allowed them to make relationships and learn from the high school students. Trevor Trevino, ’17, a member of the drum line, appreciated the experience with older students.

“I like marching with the high school, because it’s an opportunity to make new friends,” Trevino said. “Marching with the high school has helped me, because now I can actually march and play at the same time.”

The varsity cheerleading squad marched side by side with the band and color guard members. Hannah Avila, ’14, had a new escapade with her first year marching.

“Marching with everyone was a neat experience,” Avila said. “I didn’t get to march last year, so I was excited at the opportunity this year. I think it was good seeing all different aspects of Fresno Christian. It was great to see so many people in our community supporting our veterans.”

Amanda Merzon also contributed to this article.

For more information on the FC music department, read the Nov. 10 article
92nd Annual Veterans Day Parade to feature FCS students (VIDEO).

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