Local News

Helping Hand Mission Marching Band is 'ready to party' at Raleigh Christmas Parade

Posted November 23, 2019 9:16 a.m. EST
Updated November 23, 2019 10:02 a.m. EST

— It wouldn't be a Raleigh Christmas Parade without the Helping Hand Mission Marching Band.

When you hear the beat, it's hard not to dance.

Just ask Brain Game host Mark Roberts, who was known for his own performances with the band.

Helping Hand Mission executive director Sylvia Wiggins said she’s proud of the tradition.

“We started back in the 80s, so do the math,” Wiggins said. “It's been a minute. It's been a minute.”

There are up to 70 members in the band. They practice twice a week, and they spread their sound in parades all over North Carolina.

The band includes musicians and dancers of all ages who put a lot of hard work into their performances.

“If I can make somebody smile or laugh, then I've done my job,” Frank Campbell said.

The band gets creative with more than just the music and dances. In the sewing room, costumes go from sketches to reality.

Wiggins says the band makes the most of what it has.

“Sometimes people donate stuff, it'll be torn,” she said. “We'll take the glitter off. All year, we take glitter off clothes. You know how people take buttons off clothes? Well, we take glitter.”

But Wiggins said the band doesn’t need new equipment to complete their mission at this parade.

“We don't have the resources a lot of people have,” she said. “But we've got ‘umph,’ baby. We got a lot of love, got a lot of energy. We're ready to party.”

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