This week's Rose Parade won't be quite the same. It'll be missing one of its longest running and most popular entries.
The Thomasville High School band will not be marching in this year's parade. The Thomasville High School Marching Band has appeared in the Rose Parade for more than a half century. That streak will come to an end this week though. The school chose not to participate because they don't have a band director. His contract was not renewed earlier this year.
News of the absence came as a surprise to many around the Rose City who have fond memories of the band's performances.
Zack Terry, a band alumnus, says, "It's a shame; we used to go down there and get our seats early and the family would sit on the sidelines because either one or two of our daughters would be in the band, and it was just neat to watch 'em."
Micial Mayhall says, "Thomasville High School has such a strong tradition and strong band program, it's not really the end of an era, it's just kind of a brief interruption. They'll be back next year just doing as great as they've always been."
When the Rose Parade winds its way down Broad Street this Friday, it will be without the Thomasville High School Marching Band, something that hasn't happened in over 50 years. The school's principal, Dr. McCall, says they will definitely be back next year.
In a letter prepared for WCTV, Thomasville Principal Dr. Tom McCall says the school's band will return to the parade next year. The Thomasville and Thomas County Central High School Bands have rotated opening the parade for more than 50 years.