PECOS, NM – The Pecos Panther cheerleaders are hot for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“We’re super excited to say here, it’s surreal right now, it’s all getting real,” Daniella Chavez said during an interview Wednesday night.
A group of six Pecos High School cheerleaders were selected to perform alongside more than 700 cheerleaders from across the country during the parade. The group includes Chavez, Anthony Hughes, Natalia Montoya, Kristina Ragland, Linda Sanchez and Lauren Vigil.
“I’m so excited for the adrenaline rush and the thrill because there’s really nothing that compares to the feeling of performing in front of so many people,” Chavez said.
The group arrived in New York a few days ago. The team says their flights to New York were delayed, so they had to go straight from the airport for their first 4-hour rehearsal. The entire cheerleading team practiced 8 hours a day leading up to the parade.
“The choreographers are very strict about their moves and all that, so it’s really boring,” Chavez said.
“They want everything to be perfect so the cameras can all get a good shot,” added Vigil.
The team say they will be on the left side of your screen on Thursday morning – somewhere in the 3rd floorapprox and 4th rows.
Coming to New York was a struggle in itself. The team had just a few weeks to raise almost $20,000 for entry fees and travel expenses.
Team leaders say the Pecos community has made a real effort to help by contributing to several bake sales and fundraisers.
“It felt humbling because we’re not really recognized as cheerleaders because basketball is our primary sport, but everyone was very supportive,” Sanchez said.
The team made sure that the time in the Big Apple was also enjoyed. They visited the Empire State Building, attended Broadway shows, and visited other tourist attractions. They also got stuck on the subway for a few minutes.
“You can tell we’re tourists here in New York because we look so lost,” Vigil said.
Though they won’t be home for Thanksgiving, the team say they’re more grateful than ever for everyone watching at home.
“We just want to thank our community for helping us through all of this. We couldn’t be more grateful, we wouldn’t be here without them,” Chavez said.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins Thursday morning at 7:00 a.m. at KOB 4.