High Country Saboteurs Head to Nation’s Capital for 4th of July Parade

High Country Dance Studio is gearing up for a trip to Washington, DC, where its dancers are invited to perform in the annual National Independence Day Parade on Monday, July 4.

By Sherrie Norris

In March, they were performing at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland, known as one of, if not the biggest, such event in the world.

In just a few days, cloggers representing the High Country Dance Studio in Boone will reach another incredible milestone as they travel to Washington DC to perform in the 2022 National Independence Day Parade. What better place and time? to celebrate America’s birthday than in the nation’s capital?

The dancers are so excited, said Vanessa Minton, who along with her daughter, Amber Hendley, continues to lead this troupe to greater heights than ever.

“We love America and are proud to be Americans, representing not only North Carolina, but also the High Country at this event,” Minton said. “We are very patriotic and we wish a happy birthday to our country. We want to help lift spirits and we want to see people happy again. We still live in the best country in the world and we want to celebrate all that is good. »

Anyone who’s followed the success of this energetic dance crew over the years knows this isn’t the dancers’ first trip to DC. In fact, they made a huge impression on thousands of people during the 2021 presidential inauguration festivities in Washington.

This latest invitation will see cloggers dance deeper into America’s heartland, joining other guest groups from across the country – including national dignitaries and celebrities, marching bands, tanks, military units, giant balloons and a mass of observers – to celebrate Independence Day in this patriotic celebration.

The United States National Independence Day Parade is held annually on July 4 at 11:45 a.m. in Washington, DC on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets.

The parade is a major national event, according to Minton, and is meant to draw Americans’ attention to the true meaning of the holiday.

In addition to the parade, DC is full of amazing opportunities to celebrate, Minton said, including a national folklife festival on the mall, showcasing diverse cultures from the Americas and a variety of ethnic groups.

The evening following the parade, the dancers will be among other parade participants as spectators of the PBS Concert at the Capitol featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays.

As the organizers will attest – and the excitement of the dancers will confirm – there is no bigger place displaying more excitement on America’s birthday than in our nation’s capital.

For months, Minton said, the dancers worked on their routine, with the invitation coming amid preparations for their historic tour of Ireland. This next trip, which will be much shorter in distance and duration than the previous one, will allow more dancers and their families to go. “We’ve worked hard to make sure this three-day trip will be a very affordable and great experience for anyone who can join us,” Minton said. “Several dancers and their families have organized fundraisers to make all of this possible.”

Leaving the city by coach on July 2 after dancing in a local parade, the group will enjoy guided tours of some of the capital’s most famous and historic sites, with the parade on Monday being the highlight of the entire trip.

It’s just one more “great opportunity,” agreed Minton and Hendley, who have poured their hearts and souls into this award-winning dance troupe — and have for many years.

Minton started the first High Country Cloggers in 1989 and has taken it up a notch or two every year since.

Blessed with great talent, stamina and leadership skills that she passed on to her daughter, Minton humbly said, “I am grateful that Amber has picked up the torch and carried it on so well. It opens the way and opens the door for us. We just follow.

Minton adds, “We have made lasting relationships and friendships with some great people. We are so grateful to be part of this group and we are honored to share these memorable experiences with some of our best friends and teammates.

The parade is co-hosted by the National Park Service and produced by Diversified Events, which is under contract with the National Park Service.

The entire event will be streamed live on the National Independence Day Parade’s Facebook page at 11:45 a.m. EST and on its YouTube channel at 5 p.m.

About Roy B. Westling

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