The Culver Black Horse Troop will be represented by a special Friesian Color Guard at the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago. The parade will run from 8 to 11 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and will be televised nationally on WGN 9 Chicago and WGN America. The group will be the 85th unit in the parade.
Riding the Friesians will be commander Andrew Wildermuth ’14 (Lafayette, Ind.); Paul Foersch ’15 (Culver) carrying the American flag; Grant Kiley ’14 (Houston, Texas), the Culver flag; Niccolo Verrecchia ’15 (Firenze, Italy), the Indiana state flag; and Duncan McBride ’14 (Lake Sherwood, Calif.), and Edmond Hogan ’14 (Itasca, Ill.), saber bearers. Zehao Quan ’15 (Ningbo, China) is an alternate.
One of the biggest Thanksgiving Day parades in the country, the McDonald’s parade will feature some of the nation’s top marching bands, performance units, and giant helium balloons. The parade will travel down State Street to the excitement of an estimated 375,000 on-street spectators and 3.57 million watching at home.
Organized 2012, the Friesian Color Guard has appeared in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Bend; the Grand Floral Parade during the Blossomtime Festival in St Joseph, Mich.; and the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade in Indianapolis. Just recently they also attended the Support Our Troops Festival in Baroda, Mich., with the Summer Cavalry School riders.
This will be first time the group has appeared in the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade. This is the 80th year for the parade in Chicago. Culver is one of 14 horsemanship units. There are 115 units or individuals involved in this year’s parade.