Hillsboro High School graduate Faye Wooden will take part in one of the world’s most famous parades on Thanksgiving Day in New York City.
Wooden, a 2019 HHS graduate and now one of more than 340 members of the South Dakota University Marching Band, will take part in the 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 24.
Wooden has been with the band known as the “Pride of the Dakotas” since 2019. She was selected to be this year’s section leader for the mellophones.
Many adventures and unique opportunities have come Wooden’s way, not just with the marching band but also while being a part of the SDSU Wind Symphony and pep band throughout her time at college. Those opportunities include: performing in the NFL Vikings US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota; ESPN GameDay with South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs North Dakota State; Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts; Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for both SDSU women’s and men;s basketball Summit League tournaments; Key Bank Arena in Buffalo, New York for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament first round games; all of the SDSU women’s WNIT basketball playoff games, including the championship game in Brookings, South Dakota; men’s and women’s home basketball games in Frost Arena in Brookings, South Dakota; Bum Band during Hobo week and several Hobo Day parades (an SDSU homecoming tradition); and every outdoor — snow and all — NCAA Division 1 SDSU Jackrabbit home football games at Dana Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings.
Wooden is on track to graduate from South Dakota State University in May of 2023, with a major in leadership and management of nonprofit organizations and a minor in global studies. She has worked with different nonprofits throughout Brookings County. She recently finished being the community impact intern for the Brookings Area United Way. She has been working with the South Dakota State University Foundation as an undergraduate student since 2020. She is an officer for SDSU chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, a national organization for nonprofit professionals.
“Faye never envisioned that she would be given the opportunity to march in one of the most beloved parades in the nation,” her mother, Linda Van Groll Wooden, said. “Yet it all started in Hillsboro, where her love for marching band and music began. She has gained incredible friendships and memories she plans to cherish the rest of her life. One of the many lessons she has learned throughout her time in the band is, ‘If you love doing something, find a way to keep doing it. You never know where it may lead you.’
“As they say in Brookings and throughout the Jackrabbit nation, “Go Big, Go Blue, Go Jacks!”
The parade starts at 9 a.m. EST.
This story was provided Linda Van Groll Wooden.