03 July 2015

State Salutes

It’s been mentioned in some of the other pieces, but a large part of the America on Parade bicentennial celebration was the individual attention given to each state for a week during the year. While the main event lasted for fifteen months, this aspect only ran from July 6, 1975 through June 26, 1976. If you’re running the math and that looks like an odd 51 weeks, you’re right! The first week opened with the honoring of Washington, D.C.

You’re probably asking yourself what went on during a given week to pay tribute to each state. I’m so glad you asked! During the week assigned to a specific state high school bands from the states were invited to come and take part in the America on Parade procession, and the state flag was prominently displayed in the park. This wasn’t just at Walt Disney World, these state highlights were taking place concurrently at the Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland in California. Makes me wonder if there was a band that found a way to play on both coasts within a single week…

It may not seem like much, but when was the last time you saw a theme park focusing on a state other than the one where the park is located. I don’t know that it drove tourism rates up for the spotlighted states during their America on Parade week, but that’s not really the point. The fact of the matter is, Disney did something to above and beyond to make guests and guest entertainers feel unique and special.

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