The Denison Stingerettes drill team is in New York this week and will be marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Director Christi Mitchell said the Stingerettes will be marching in front of Santa performing as part of his entrance entourage. She has 21 dancers marching in the parade.

“The girls have been having a blast it’s been a lot of long days of practice and a lot of walking,” Mitchell said. ” We are making the most of every minute we have here. They have already met a lot of other dancers from other states. There are about 600 dancers here performing. This is a once-in-a lifetime thing to do this. Two of our girls had never been on a plane before, and several of them have never been to New York. They are really wide-eyed and excited.”

This is the first year for Mitchell to take a group to New York for this parade. The drill team performs at Disney World every three years when they get to take their out-of-state field trip. This year, she pulled out all the stops to ensure her team was able to have this unique experience.

The girls had their rehearsal in front of Macy’s on Monday night. They arrived on Saturday and hit the ground running. Since then, they have seen all the sites from the 9-11 memorial to the Empire State Building. Mitchell said one of the highlights was taking the girls to see “Frozen, the Musical.”

“They will walk and at various times they will play music and do a spirit dance,” Mitchell said. “Once they get to Macy’s at the red carpet area is when you will see them on TV. That is where they will do their big presentation of their dance number. They will be wearing red and green costumes. A lot of our girls will have peppermint props. Some will run up with Santa to present him. You will see them mixed in with all the other dancers.”

Mitchell said the girls excitement level has been increasing daily, but Tuesday was a day to take in the sites and relax before the big performance.

“It has been something I have wanted to take the Stingerettes to for a long time. I always thought it would be a great experience,” Mitchell said. “A couple of years ago I decided we would make it our next field trip. I am am excited to finally be here, it is a great group of girls.”

Mitchell said it wouldn’t have been possible without all the support from the community, especially former Stingerettes. There are performers who were with the team in the 70s who showed up to offer support, advice and help with the fundraising to get the girls to New York.

“One of the rookies this year, her mom performed at the Macy’s Parade in the 90s,” Mitchell said. “Now her daughter is here performing. It is cool.”