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For the second straight year, Newton County Schools will be represented in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as Eastside High School junior Katie Beth Fowler has been selected as a member of the 2015 Macy’s Great American Marching Band! She is one of only approximately 40 flags and dancers who will perform with the 185 musicians selected to participate this year.

Katie Beth is a member of the Pride of Eastside Marching Band’s color guard and also plays the French horn in class. She decided to try out after hearing about the opportunity last year, when Eastside band members Austin Barnett and Reid Waters earned spots in the prestigious marching band.  

“They said they had a great time and I just thought it would be a really neat experience to be in the Macy’s parade,” said Fowler. “Not many people have the opportunity to do that.”

She added that the chance to visit New York City is also an added plus—as is the opportunity to meet high school band participants from across the country.

“It will be fun to meet new people that I wouldn’t have gotten to meet if I didn’t go,” said Fowler. “They have the same interests but we’ll all bring different aspects of our schools when we get together.”

Fowler said she was required to develop a routine set to music and post her video on YouTube for the judges to review earlier in the year. Although she’s known for a while that she had been selected, she hasn’t had the opportunity to see or learn the routine she will perform until she arrives in New York. Unlike the musicians, who receive their music in advance so they can practice and learn the songs, Fowler said the flag routines are taught once the color guard participants arrive in New York.

She will arrive in New York early Saturday, November 21 and will head to practice later that day. Each day leading up to the parade the color guard will practice to learn the routine in time for Thursday’s main event. While in New York she will also have the chance to visit major attractions like Rockefeller Center and even attend a Broadway show. All of the Macy's Great American Marching Band participants will also attend a leadership workshop and even celebrate Thanksgiving together at a dinner dance.

 "The Macy's Parade is an iconic, living piece of American history and culture, and I was thrilled last year when two of The Pride of Eastside's members, Austin Barnett and Reid Waters were selected to be a part of it, said Eastside Band Director Alan Fowler.  “The experience Austin and Reid had in New York was amazing and I am so glad Katie Beth decided to apply this year."

Fowler added, "As both her dad and band director, I was excited to hear she was selected and it's hard to believe, in just a few days, she will be in New York and marching in such a historic parade. Katie Beth is a wonderful young person and one who is a terrific representative of the best Eastside has to offer.  Of course I would be saying that even if she was not my daughter, but as her dad, I can tell you I am extremely proud of her and cannot believe I have such an amazing daughter.  Hopefully she will come back to Covington and inspire others that they can go places too!"

“We are certainly proud of Katie Beth Fowler,” said Jeff Cher, principal of Eastside. “I know she will have a wonderful time and represent Eastside extremely well.  What a joy it was last year to watch our students in the parade!  We are definitely looking forward to seeing her perform Thanksgiving morning on a national stage!”

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin at 9:00 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and will be televised live on NBC.