NASHUA, New Hampshire— Performers dream of the opportunity to showcase their hard work and talent on the largest stages possible.

The 2023 DCI Open Class World Champions will have that golden opportunity when they take to the streets of New York City as part of the nationally-televised 2025 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

The Spartans were one of nine marching music groups selected out of more than 100 applicants to participate in the annual holiday staple. The New Hampshire-based corps joins an illustrious yet exclusive list of drum corps ever selected for this honor. The Madison Scouts were the most recent drum corps to march in the parade a decade ago in 2014.   

LOOK BACK: Drum corps in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

“The Macy’s Parade Committee is excited to invite Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps to bring the sound of the northeast to the 2025 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Sara Flores, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade associate producer in a press release. “We were blown away by their creativity and musical talent, and I know our live spectators in New York City and fans nationwide will feel the same way on Thanksgiving morning next year.”

The decision to apply for the Macy’s Parade was in large part due to the corps staff’s desire to add a “signature event” to their calendar during Spartans’ 70th anniversary season. Corps president Paul LaFlamme undertook the lengthy application process and patiently awaited the call. Soon enough, that call came and it was revealed that the corps was, indeed, headed to New York in 2025. 

💥World Champion Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps has been selected to march in the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®!...

Posted by Spartans Drum & Bugle Corps on Thursday, July 4, 2024


“It was just an overwhelming moment sitting on that Zoom call while they were explaining all the details,” LaFlamme said. “I was just sitting there trying to concentrate on what they were saying, but also processing the information of being selected. It’s just an incredible honor.” 

Keeping a surprise like this close to the vest was not an easy task for the select few staff members who knew about this distinction before Wednesday evening. Once revealed to the current membership and the local community during the corps’ Friends and Family Day, the audience in attendance “erupted in euphoria,” according to LaFlamme. 

“I wasn’t sure how it was going to go over,” LaFlamme said. “But that response from both the community and our membership was overwhelming.”

The group of performers that will take the trip to The Big Apple will be a combination of members that will take the field in 2025 and corps alumni from the last five seasons. The decision to group in alumni — especially from the 2020 and 2021 seasons — was to give back to those former members who had two competitive seasons interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“They lost what people in my generation would consider very important moments in their lives,” LaFlamme said. “I can’t think of a better way to try and give back to that generation than saying ‘Hey, help us celebrate 70 years of Spartans, and you’ll be the ones representing Spartans at this event.’” 

In partnership with the Southwind Legacy Project, members from the last five seasons of Southwind will also be joining Spartans at the parade. 

Preparations for the parade won’t officially begin until the conclusion of the 2024 DCI Tour, but the corps plans to begin the call for rehearsals starting later this year. In addition to the rehearsals, Spartans plan on hosting creative fundraising events to unite the Nashua community and to ensure that every performer who wants to, has the chance to attend. 

To help kick off fundraising efforts, the Macy’s team donated $10,000 to the corps. 

The corps also plans to honor the local community that continues to support them through a specially made uniform for the event in partnership with Creative Costuming and Designs.

“Our goal is to create something that is modern in nature, but also speaks to our heritage of where we came from as a drum corps and as a community organization,” LaFlamme said. “I’m really excited about being able to put something like that in front of a national audience.” 

With an experience of a lifetime on the horizon, the corps will continue to focus on what the 2024 season has in store for them. The Spartans are set to continue their 2024 season July 8 at Drums Across the Smokies presented by Ultimate Drill Book in Sevierville, Tennessee. 

See the Spartans on the 2024 DCI Tour