This story is published in collaboration with The Collegian.
NEW YORK (COLLEGIAN) — The Pride of the Dakotas, family and friends landed in New York City Sunday afternoon after an early morning start to their five-day trip to the Big Apple to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
After loading the buses at 4:30 a.m. and heading to Sioux Falls Regional Airport, the band took two charter planes from Sioux Falls to the Newark-Liberty International Airport. There were a few bumps along the road for some band members, but everyone arrived safely.
“There were more delays than I thought,” said Joey Daly, a sousaphone player in his third year at South Dakota State University. “There’s a little bit of trouble going through the airports and getting everything lined up. … But I mean, you kind of expect something to go wrong when you’re spending a day traveling.”
The fans, family and alumni groups also flew out of Sioux Falls, with separate layovers in Chicago, Denver and Dallas, before landing at New York-LaGuardia International Airport.
Lindsey Nordsiden is one of the alumni going to New York with the band. She graduated in 2004 and was in the Pride while she attended SDSU, performing at the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California, in 2001.
“It was so much fun, but I didn’t get to do any of the fun stuff. They didn’t have a lot of activities planned,” Nordsiden said. “So when this opportunity came along, I love New York City, I’ve been there before, and it was like, ‘oh, this would be so much fun to go back to that,’ and actually get to go on a trip with the Pride.”
Nordsiden’s sister, Lacey Collins, is also attending the trip, though she did not attend SDSU, and said the opportunity to travel with the band was too good to pass up.
“The itinerary of what all we get to do for this price is amazing,” she said. “It’s just the best deal.”
Chris and Diane Holmberg decided to accompany the Pride to support their daughter, sophomore mellophone player Sophie Holmberg. Diane, from Luverne, Minnesota, said she missed out on her daughter marching at Disneyland in high school, so coming to New York for Macy’s was a must for the family.
“The parade seems like such a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Chris said. “It was never on my bucket list, but now that we are here, it does seem kind of cool. If you had asked me two years ago, I’d say that doesn’t sound like something I’d want to do. Now I really really want to.”
After a little downtime to walk around and check out the Times Square area, the band ate, played arcade games and bowled at Bowlero.
Family and alumni also had a chance to rest from the day’s travels before enjoying dinner at John’s Pizzeria.
Tomorrow, both groups will have most of the day to explore on their own before going to the Top of the Rock, the observation deck at the very top of the Rockefeller Center.
The Pride will also get to visit Little Italy and Chinatown for dinner and shopping.
Rebecca Ady, a junior alto saxophone player, said she is excited to get to spend the day with her family.
“I get to do some of this free time with my parents, and I’m really, really looking forward to that,” she said. “We’re just going to hang out and do some shopping.”
Daly said he plans to check out a few museums in the city during his free time.
“I was going to go to the Museum of Modern Art, that’s my big one,” he said.
Check back in tomorrow to for continued coverage of the Pride’s historic trip to New York.