116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MOUNT VERNON — Before they left to again represent Iowa in the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Marching Mustangs of Mount Vernon High had one special stop to make: to perform outside the home of retired band director Don Stine, who led the band throughout the 1970s and into the 1990s.
This marks the third time the Mount Vernon band has performed in the Chicago parade, which is televised over WGN America to an estimated 10 million homes. The Marching Mustangs performed there in 2016 and again in 2018, and was invited back this holiday.
“That does not happen unless we have displayed a certain level of excellence when performing in the parade in the past,” Mount Vernon Superintendent Greg Batenhorst said. “This group has excelled in marching band competitions and performances throughout Eastern Iowa, and the parade is a great reward for all their hard work.”
The 96-member band of ninth- through 12-graders gave a community preview Monday evening of the performance planned for Chicago. The preview included a stop outside the home of Stine, the legendary band leader for the school and for the community.
The band left Tuesday morning for Chicago. The parade is from 8 to 11 a.m. Thursday along State Street in Chicago and will be broadcast live on WGN America.