If you’ve ever watched the annual procession of Santas, celebrities and oversized balloons that is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and thought “golly, that looks like fun,” consider the following:
At about 1 a.m. on Thursday morning, Philipsburg-Osceola senior Katelyn Evans climbed out of a hotel bed located somewhere near New York City. She was rushed straight into hair and makeup and then transported to a warm-up session held in Harold Square.
Her day finally slowed down around 5:30 a.m., when Katelyn and the other 40-some dancers and silks took a pause for breakfast just a few hours prior to the parade’s 9 a.m. start time.
I’ve always dreamed of either twirling in New York or Disney World.
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It’s a bear of a schedule — especially considering that last Friday, Katelyn was sitting on a couch in West Decatur talking about what a great time she had at Penn State baton camp.
“I’ve always dreamed of either twirling in New York or Disney World,” Katelyn said.
Until this week, the farthest she’d ever twirled was Kennywood.
Katelyn has been spinning batons in one place or another since fourth grade, presently for the P-O band and in the not too distant future — she hopes — the Penn State Majorettes.
Turkey Day’s highly competitive detour to New York City came at the expense of the many, many outtakes that were committed to film (or the digital equivalent) somewhere in the bowls of the Moshannon Valley YMCA.
It’s like a once in a lifetime experience for her.
Katelyn’s mother, Liz Evans, helped her record a new routine to submit as her audition. Every movement had to be perfectly executed while appearing outwardly effortless.
“There were some tears along the way,” Liz Evans said.
Parade representatives sent Katelyn a letter last April officially offering her the gig. Liz Evans and her husband resigned themselves to early Thanksgiving morning searching for a good vantage point on the parade route.
Once all of the excitement dies down, they’ll join Katelyn and the rest of her new crew for dinner.
“It’s like a once in a lifetime experience for her,” Liz Evans said.
Katelyn hopes that the whole thing doesn’t pass her by in a haze of flags and turkey.
“It’s just such a great experience. I hope that I savor every moment,” Katelyn said.