SM South senior among select group of cheerleaders to perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

SM South senior Parrish Mock in Times Square on Thanksgiving Day. Photo courtesy Mock family.

If you were among the millions of people tuning in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast on Thursday, there’s a chance you caught a glimpse of a Shawnee Mission resident among the performers.

In February, Parrish Mock, now a senior at SM South, tried out to be part of a 400-performer squad for this year’s parade. She found out she made the cut, and then went about learning the routine that the group would put on outside of the New York store.

Mock arrived in New York City with her mother, sister and brother the Saturday before Thanksgiving and had four-hour practice sessions morning and evening up until dress rehearsals on Wednesday. On Thursday, she and the other cheerleaders had to arrive hours ahead of the parade itself to get stationed.

When the parade itself began, she said, it was almost surreal.

“There are these giant balloons in front of you and behind you, and then you see these huge crowds of people,” she said. “It’s a three mile parade route, but you hardly even think about it because of all the excitement. I couldn’t drop a smile if I’d wanted to.”

Mock has been on the Raiders cheer squad since freshman year and has been on the varsity team since her sophomore year. She said she doesn’t plan to pursue cheering in college — she’s thinking about going to either Arkansas or KU and studying nursing — but that the Macy’s parade was a great experience to cap off her cheering career.

Mock was the only member of the Thanksgiving cheerleader performance squad from Kansas.