St. Patrick’s Day in NYC: Raven Nation will march up Fifth Avenue

GEORGETOWN – Add St. Patrick’s Day in the Big Apple to Raven Nation’s list.

Some lucky Sussex County students will dance an Irish jig of sorts later this month, marching up New York City’s famed Fifth Avenue in the 255th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in midtown Manhattan.

More than 120 students of the Sussex Technical High School Raven Nation Marching Band will travel to New York City on March 17 to take part in the annual Irish-American tradition, which dates to 1762.

Raven Nation st patricks logo

In more than two centuries, the annual event has grown from a handful of homesick Irish soldiers who celebrated their heritage to a six-hour spectacle that features nearly 200,000 participants, is viewed in person by some 2 million spectators, and is broadcast around the world.

Tech’s band, the only from Delaware, will proudly represent the First State as one of only 15 bands traveling to New York City from other states and nations.

The Marching Ravens will play two selections, including Delaware’s state song, “Our Delaware,” as well as the popular Irish-inspired “Riverdance” theme.

Sussex Tech Band Director Ian Kenney said the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will give students a unique experience in the nation’s largest city and in one of its signature events.

“We are honored to be among the selected bands to participate in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” Mr. Kenney said. “This is a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime kind of event that will give students an authentic cultural experience, and at the same time allow the Raven Nation to showcase its skills to millions of people in New York City and around the globe.”

This year’s parade will be simulcast for the first time in Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as in the greater New York City metro area.

“This could be one of the largest audiences for these children in their lifetime,” Mr. Kenney added. “As a music educator, it’s my priority to be able to provide these second-to-none experiences that other programs can’t provide. We’re so excited for what this will mean to the students and we’re proud to represent Sussex Technical High School, Sussex County and Delaware as a whole.”

The Sussex Tech Marching Band has taken its talents across the nation in years past as First State ambassadors, having traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the 70th anniversary Pearl Harbor ceremony; Indiana for the famed Indianapolis 500 race; Chicago for the annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade; and Orlando, Florida, for the Main Street Electrical Parade in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

Sussex Tech’s marching band was also invited to participate in the 2014 London New Year’s Day Parade & Festival.

Performances are made possible through fundraising efforts, parent donations, and the generous support of the community.

This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be broadcast live, beginning at 11 a.m., on WNBC-TV 4 in New York City, and can be viewed online at NBCNewYork.com.

For more information about the Sussex Technical High School Raven Nation Marching Band, visit www.sussextechband.com.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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