Thanksgiving Parade preparations in full swing

PHILADELPHIA - November 22, 2011

Some of the coolest balloons, floats, performers are almost ready. All systems are "go" for a terrific parade on Thursday.

Action News caught up Tuesday with students from the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts rehearsing for the parade. 125 students will take part in nine production numbers. For several years this group has been an integral part of the extravaganza.

"I love the parade. I just like being on camera and having fun. It's just a good experience, because I know it's my last year and I'm going to miss it," said student Shakira West.

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"We have rehearsals the whole week before Thursday morning. It's hard, but we really love it. And we really enjoy being with each other," said student Nina Pollutri.

"We're in nine this year. Seven choreography pieces and nine altogether," another student told Action News. "Is it a lot of work?" she was asked. "Yes, ma'am. But it's fun."

"To be on camera and dance with other people is a cool experience," said student Aja Singletary.

Meantime, at a Navy Yard warehouse, 14 parade floats were getting the finishing touches for the 92nd edition of this Thanksgiving Day tradition. There are floats for the Disney characters, Santa's spectacular chariot and a few new ones this year, including a Dunkin' Donuts float with a giant rolling pin and huge doughnuts coming out of the oven. Mrs. Claus, an elf and big cup of coffee should provide a nice eye opener. They will all come to life in two days.

"It's such a great feeling, such a great energy. And to see all the families that have lined up along the parade route for years and years. It's a really exciting time. So while it's a lot of work, we also have a lot of fun," said Parade Operations Manager Debbie Lobel.

The floats will be taken from the Navy Yard to JFK Boulevard Wednesday night where they will line up for the parade. Of course all kinds of rehearsals will get underway Wednesday morning. And while the weather may not be the best for rehearsals, it is expected to be just fine for the big event Thanksgiving morning.

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