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Central senior marching in Macys parade
Ashley Jeter, a senior at Forsyth Central High School, enjoys time in New York on Monday. Jeter, a member of the Flash of Crimson color guard, was chosen for the Macys Great American Marching Band, which will take part in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

If you’re watching

Check out Forsyth Central High School senior Ashley Jeter in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday on NBC.

Since she was a little girl, Ashley Jeter has loved the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“We all sit around the TV and watch it every year,” Jeter said.

But this year, she and her family will have a whole different view of the classic procession.

Hers will be from within the route, as she marches with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, comprised of high school students from around the country.

Jeter’s parents and siblings will get to be among the estimated 3.5 million spectators lining the streets of New York City.

A senior at Forsyth Central High School, Jeter is the only student from the county to be chosen to take part with the band.

A captain of Central’s Flash of Crimson Marching Band color guard, Jeter said she submitted an audition video to Macy’s in August. According to information from the band, some 1,400 students from all 50 states audition to be a part of the group every year.

“They’re having just 20 flags in the parade and I was selected as one of them, so I’m super excited,” Jeter said.

Jeter and her family flew to New York on Friday, where she was scheduled to meet her fellow band members on Saturday.

“We learn our routine on Monday and we practice, practice, practice and then perform Thursday morning,” she said.

The band members still will have time to check out sites in New York, something Jeter was looking forward to since this is her first visit.

“I really want to eat Chinese food in China Town,” she said. “I’m also excited to see the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and Times Square, since that’s what you always see on television.”  

Jeter said Thursday will be a long day, especially for the band’s color guard members.

“Guard has to wake up at midnight to get our hair and makeup done, then we rehearse at 2 a.m. before having breakfast at the Hard Rock Café,” she said. “Then around 5 in the morning, we have to be lined up for the parade route.

“After the parade, we’ll have a Thanksgiving meal with all the band members.”

Jeter said she was thrilled to get to represent Forsyth in the parade and thanked her family and the community for helping her raise funds for the trip, which cost about $3,000.

“Everyone’s been so supportive,” she said. “I’m getting to live a dream that I’ve had for a long time so I really appreciate everything.”