Four young women from Prince William County will be participating in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tomorrow, as part of Camp Broadway.
Alyssa Kiffer from Benton Middle School, Lauren Rotante from Colgan High School, Leah Manzie from Swans Creek Elementary School, and Claire Duffy of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School were among those selected to take part in the performance.
Camp Broadway is an Broadway-related summer camp program organization, with a mission “to make theatre arts an accessible and relevant way for creative children to build confidence, hone presentation skills, and discover their unique talents at every stage of their lives,” according to a release. This is the organization’s tenth year in the parade.
The group’s ensemble is made up of 128 military-connected kids from 104 cities in the United States, according to a release.
They will be performing Irving Berlin’s “This is a Great Country”.
“I’ve been watching this parade since – as long as I can remember – since I was a kid. And it’s such an iconic, American tradition…so just thinking about the number of people that will be able to watch her is just – is overwhelming and awesome…I’m beyond proud,” said Nancy Kiffer, mother of Alyssa Kiffer, who is among the Prince William students chosen to participate.
According to Nancy Kiffer, she teared up when she saw the spot where her daughter will be performing tomorrow.
“Performing is in her heart, and she loves it so much…and performing in New York is such an amazing opportunity,” said Nancy Kiffer.
The audition process was competitive.
“I was really surprised and shocked when I got in, because that’s not what I was expecting, because I knew that there would be so many military kids from across the country who were auditioning,” said Alyssa Kiffer.
For Alyssa Kiffer, one of the highlights of performing in tomorrow’s parade is the opportunity for her loved ones to see her perform live.
“I’m really excited because this is something not a lot of kids get to do, so it’s got to be probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had…friends and family who have not been able to see me perform, who live on the other side of the country, finally get to see me perform on TV,” said Alyssa Kiffer.
Alyssa’s father is a captain of a Coast Guard ship, which is currently stationed in Detroit.
“She’s doing this in honor of him,” said Nancy Kiffer.
Around 50 million viewers tune in to the parade each year.
“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the perfect place and time to celebrate the important role that military families play in supporting our nations’ troops. On this national day of gratitude, Camp Broadway hopes that Macy’s 3.5 million spectators and 50 million viewers will join us in cheering for these talented young heroes who are called upon to make many personal sacrifices so that their parents, siblings or other family members can serve and protect America,” stated Camp Broadway spokeswoman Susan Lee in a release.
Here’s footage of the Camp Broadway group:
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