Pecos HS cheerleaders represent New Mexico in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

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PECOS, N.M. – The Pecos Panther Cheerleaders are fired up for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“We’re super excited to here like, it’s just surreal right now, everything’s just getting real,” said Daniella Chavez during an interview Wednesday Night.

A group of six cheerleaders from Pecos High School was selected to perform alongside more than 700 cheerleaders from across the country during the parade. The group includes Chavez, Anthony Hughes, Natalia Montoya, Kristina Ragland, Linda Sanchez, and Lauren Vigil.

“I’m so excited for the adrenaline rush, and the thrill because it’s really, nothing compares to the feeling of performing in front of that many people,” Chavez said.

The group arrived in New York several days ago. The team says their flights were delayed getting to New York, so they had to go straight from the airport to their first 4-hour rehearsal. The entire cheerleading team has been rehearsing 8-hours a day leading up to the parade.

“The choreographers are really strict about how your motions are and everything like that, so it’s really tedious,” Chavez said.

“They want everything perfect, so the cameras get a good shot of everyone,” added Vigil. 

The team says they’ll be on the left side of your screen Thursday morning – somewhere in the 3rd and 4th rows.

Getting to New York was its own battle. The team only had a few weeks to raise nearly $20,000 for the entry fees and travel expenses. 

Team leaders say the Pecos community really stepped up to help by contributing to several bake sales and fundraisers.

“It felt humbling, like because we don’t really get recognized as cheerleaders because basketball is our main sport, but everybody was very supportive,” Sanchez said.

The team made sure to enjoy their time in the Big Apple as well. They visited the Empire State Building, attended Broadway shows, and visited other tourist attractions. They also got stuck on the subway for a few minutes.

“You could tell we’re tourist here in New York, because we look so lost,” Vigil said.

While they won’t be home for Thanksgiving, the team says they’re more thankful than ever for everyone watching back home.

“We just want to thank our community for helping us through all of this. We couldn’t be more grateful, we wouldn’t be here without them,” Chavez said.

The Miyamura High School Star Dance Team from Gallup will also represent New Mexico at Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

Ayinah Eddie, Alyea Chico, and Mikayla Scott will represent the Navajo Nation.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning on KOB 4.