THOMASVILLE -- The 57th Annual Rose Parade, one of Thomasville's signature events, will proceed Friday without one of its most notable entries.
For the first time, the Thomasville High School Marching Band will not participate in the procession.
"We'll definitely miss them, and we hope they'll be back next year," said Kim McCray, special events coordinator for Thomasville Main Street. "It's such a tradition -- Central and Thomasville always alternate who leads off the parade."
The Thomas County Central and Cairo High School bands will march in the parade, as well as bands from Atkinson County and Dublin high schools.
Thomasville City Schools superintendent Sabrina Boykins-Everett said keeping the band out of the parade was an administrative decision.
"It was a collaborative decision between the principal (Dr. Tom McCall) and the band booster parents," Everett said. "Right now, without a director, we don't have anyone to lead the high school band."
Former band director Stanley Norton's contract was not renewed in March, and he is on paid leave for the remainder of the school year. The THS band is now under the direction of a substitute teacher.
Everett said the search is on for a new band director.
McCray said this year's Rose Parade promises to be spectacular.
"There are lots of interesting floats," she said. "People are really going all out with their floats this year. We have more entries than we did last year."
Almost 90 entries have been slated for this year's Rose Parade, 20 more than last year, McCray said.
"It's expensive to build a float, and with the economy the way it was, I think people were hesitant to put that money into a float last year," she said.
Miss Georgia Danica Tisdale will participate in the Rose Parade, as will national and state title holding queens. The Chrome Divas, an all-women motorcycle club, also will participate in parade again this year.
"They were a big hit last year," McCray said.
State and local politicians, antique vehicles, and area groups, clubs and organizations are scheduled to appear in the Rose Parade as well.
The Thomasville High ROTC will march in the parade, and the MacIntyre Park Middle School Band will play in the Rose Bud Parade on Thursday.
The Rose Parade will begin at the intersection of Broad Street and Washington Street near the Thomas County Courthouse, and proceed downtown to Smith Avenue. From there, the procession will turn left up Smith Avenue and end at the Hancock Center.
The parade is set to begin at 7 p.m.
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