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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - December 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Cheerleaders Perform in Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
Houston County Courier - December 2008
By Sharron Randall
Staff Writer
editorial@houstoncountycourier.com   

Three Lovelady High School cheerleaders and their sponsor enjoyed an experience of a lifetime when they traveled to New York City for the girls' performance in the Macy's   Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 27.
The most eventful experience of their lifetime began on Friday, Nov. 21 when Katie Smith, Paige Young and Lauren Frost and their sponsor Lawanna Monk of Lovelady, took a flight out of Houston, arrived at LaGuardia Airport, and checked in at the Hilton Hotel on the Avenue of the Americas.
Immediately the four walked to Times Square at midnight because they couldn't wait any longer to get to the heart of the largest city in the United States.  According to Ms. Monk, however, they didn't stay long because it was too cold; the wind chill factor was in the low teens!
So began the odyssey and influx of 1,500 young people adorned in their little red jackets and costumes…900 cheerleaders and a dance group of 600…two performing groups from Mike Miller and Associates of Dallas chosen to demonstrate their skills in the largest single parade of the year.
Each of the three Lovelady cheerleaders including their sponsor had individual agendas for the trip to New York other than appearing in the parade.
Paige, daughter of John and Renee Young, of Lovelady wanted to take a carriage ride; Katie, daughter of Kenny and Donna Smith wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty and Lauren, daughter of Teresa and Keith Krenek was excited about seeing the Rockettes perform and Mrs. Monk was excited about visiting the fashion district.
In between rehearsals, taking care of business, and already planned excursions, the Lovelady group did it all! They went to Radio City and saw the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, went up to the 86th floor in the Empire State Building, (Paige is afraid of heights, so this was a big accomplishment), took a carriage ride in Central Park, rode the subway, visited Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Battery Park, went to Ground Zero, ice skated in Rockefeller Center, viewed the decorating of the giant Christmas tree and toured the city in a chartered bus,
They also went to Harlem, the Apollo Theatre, the New York City Public Library, China Town and ate dinner Thanksgiving evening at Café Napoli in Little Italy after the parade.  No traditional Thanksgiving dinner for these weary Texans, but a breakfast of eggs and toast cost each $17.50!
The group was booked to see "In the Heights," a Broadway show that the New York Times critiqued as "A musical about chasing your dreams and finding your true home."  The setting was Manhattan, New York City's most vibrant community.
Nine hundred cheerleaders were up by 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and opened the parade at 9 a.m. in front of Macy's with their routine of dancing with pom-poms, transitions, ripples and stunting.
The routines were previously introduced at home via a packet and a DVD before the girls even reached their destination.
On a high note that ended their week's stay in New York City, the girls made their television debut on Good Morning America on Friday, Nov. 28. 



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