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The Riverview High School Kiltie Band is headed to New York City this week, where stu- dents will march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 17, the Sarasota County School District has announced. More than 150 members of the Kiltie Band, Color Guard, Bagpipers and Highland Dancers will join an estimated 150,000 to 250,000 other marchers in the 253rd annual 1.5-mile trek up Fifth Avenue "celebrating all things Irish," a news release says. Recognized as the oldest and largest parade celebrating the popular observance, the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade draws crowds of more than 2 million people to the streets of Manhattan, the release notes. "The Kilties will be surrounded by dozens of other Celtic- themed musicians and performers as they proceed alongside Central Park to St. Patrick's Cathedral at 79th Street." "Marching in this parade is the culmination of months of hard work and dedication on the part of our students," said Kiltie Band Director Mark Spreen in the release. "They've spent hundreds of hours preparing and prac- ticing to ensure a perfect performance." "Each student was responsible for raising the money to pay his or her way by partici- pating in dozens of fundraisers over the past two years," the release points out. "From yard sales to babysitting to car washes and cookie sales, the Kilties have worked hard to earn the honor of making the trip and marching in the parade," the release adds. "We try to take the band on a road trip every other year, so most of the kids have been saving and earning money since our last trip when the band performed at the Pearl Harbor Memorial in 2011," Spreen said in the release. The Riverview High School Kiltie Band marches in the 2013 Sarasota Veterans Day Parade with (from left) J.D. Kurman, Felecity Warner, Tai Rohan and Judson Cressey leading the way. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Schools KILTIES TO MARCH IN NEW YORK'S ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE NEWS BRIEFS

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