As most families in Knox County gathered to give thanks and celebrate Thanksgiving Day, four Knox Central High School Cheerleaders showcased their talents at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Macey Gray, Hannah Mills, Presley Peyton, and Ashton Smith visited New York City during their Thanksgiving Break. They were able to perform in the Spirit of America section of the parade, with over 1,300 other cheerleaders and dancers from across the US. This is the 21st year that Varsity has participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The parade was aired live on NBC and CBS and a representative from NBC said, “From its humble beginnings in 1924 to the breathtaking spectacular of today, the Macy’s Parade lineup unfolds each year in grand fashion. It’s not just a parade marching down an avenue; it is a march through tradition, history and popular culture. The magic Parade’s famed lineup this year features 16 giant character balloons; 33 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 27 floats; 1,300 cheerleaders and dancers; 1,000 clowns; 12 marching bands; and a host of celebrity performers.”

All four girls are seniors at Knox Central and have been on the cheer team for four years. In order to attend this event, each girl had to attend a UCA summer camp. The cheer team at Knox Central attended the UCA (Universal Cheerleaders Association) cheer camp at the University of Kentucky this past summer. Each girl spent countless hours fundraising for their trip and would like to thank the entire community for their support.

Knox Central Head Cheerleading Coach Lisa Napier said about the girls, “Each senior that participated in this event has made a huge impact on KC cheer in the four years they have cheered for the Panthers. As a coach, I am very proud to have girls from this area represent our community and our school in such a positive way.”

The girls, while in New York, got to see the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, skate at Rockefeller Center, and visit Times Square and the 9/11 Memorial. They also saw Chinatown and attended a taping of the Today Show, saw the Broadway show Aladdin and the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall while practicing everyday for their performance.