COLUMBIA - Marching Mizzou students were overcome with emotion when they heard they will be performing in the 96th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2022.

The end of the year Marching Mizzou banquet took place over zoom this year. Yet, students knew something big was going to happen. They just didn't know it was going to be something as big as this.

"Dr. Knopps told me so many times this week, make sure you tell your piccolos that they need to be there, it's going to be a good time," Sophomore Piccolo Section Leader Kristine Malone said. "So, I was kind of like, she's got something up her sleeve."

"Whenever she said we're gong to interject the band banquet for a second, I immediately was like there's something going on," Junior Trumpet Section Leader Alex Weinzierl said. "She told us and then the group chats started blowing and we were freaking out."

In the past, head football coach Eli Drinkwitz has talked to Marching Mizzou. That's who Malone was expecting to be at the virtual banquet. When the announcement video was played at the virtual banquet, Malone wasn't sure what was going on.

"It was filmed very well," Malone said. "I was like man, they really put a lot of effort into this."

Malone joined Marching Mizzou right before the trip to Dublin. She transferred from Moberly Community College to Mizzou because she wasn't ready to give up band. When she heard the exciting news at the virtual banquet, she was overcome with emotion.

"I literally heard Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and I was like, I gotta call my dad," Malone said. "I was just in so much shock. I started crying immediately. I was just so excited."

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a tradition for Malone and her family.

"My sister and I would wake up early before our parents were even awake and go sit on the couch and watch the setup for the parade," Malone said.

Not only was Malone excited about the news, but this is something she's been talking about for a couple of years.

"A couple of years go, my dad and I were talking about, what if we went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade just because I have been a part of marching band for so long," Malone said. "It's just a little ironic that we talked about that and now here I am given the opportunity to go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade."

Weinzierl also says watching the parade is a family tradition.

"The first thing I thought whenever I actually saw the news was I cannot wait to tell my mom," Weinzierl said. "My family was actually with me the whole time, so I was able to go and just tell them and they freaked out. We can't wait."

Weinzierl has been in marching band since his freshman year of high school. He said he is taking a fifth year of school and is glad he gets the opportunity to perform.

"Millions of people have such a huge state to show how hard we really work every singe day," Weinzierl said.

For featured twirler Carlee Fenton, she said the moment she heard the news was surreal. She's been a twirler since she was 2 years old. Just to be able to be a twirler at Mizzou is a dream come true for her.

"I can't think of anybody or any other band that I would want to have this opportunity with," Fenton said.

Fenton said she knows other twirlers who have performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

"It's just crazy that I am also going to be able to get this experience as well," Fenton said.

Fenton notes her part in this performance.

"I know I'm only a small part in the band," Fenton said. "I couldn't do my job without the rest of the band. We work together, we work so hard. I feel like we deserve this."

"We love being in Marching Mizzou," Weinzierl said. "We bring it every single day and to be recognized by that high of a level just goes back into how big of a reward this is."

Marching Mizzou will be performing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2022.

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