DPS student talent to be showcased in Thanksgiving Day parade

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542
Kisha Verdusco at 313-873-4546

The talents of Detroit Public Schools students will be on display before a statewide audience during the 84th America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit on Thursday.

Marching bands from Cass Technical High School and Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School will perform after winning the top two spots in the DPS/McDonald’s Battle of the Bands last month.

The 60-member Cass Technical High School Marching Band has been high stepping in the Thanksgiving Day parade for over two decades. This year they will be accompanied Drum Major Anthony Williams Jr., a performing arts student who has been accepted to Alabama State University on a music/academic scholarship. Additionally, the band will be accompanied by their dancers, majorettes and flag team, led by senior Sha’dai Haley.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School Marching Band is making its sixth consecutive appearance in America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Marching Crusaders have traveled to numerous competitions and performances, including the National High Stepping Marching Band Competition in Atlanta last weekend, where the flags captured first place honors, while third place finishes were earned by the drum major, drum line and total band.

Kelsey Hall of Cass Tech will be part of the Parade Queen and Princess Court on the new Princess Fairy Tale Float. The senior was one of five finalists who were selected based on academics, campus and community involvement, personality and knowledge of the parade.

Zacyrus Gaiter, an eighth-grade student at Detroit School of Arts East – Duke Ellington Campus, will ride with the Skillman Foundation’s float, which he designed. Zacyrus’ depiction of his dream neighborhood was the winning float design for the parade.

The float “Dreams Do Come True” brings to life the essential components for a revitalized Detroit, according to Zacyrus. The float depicts beautiful homes, a library, hospital, roller coaster and Ferris wheel.

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