SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– For the first time ever, the Pride of the Dakotas marching band will be showcasing their talents at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In just a couple of days, South Dakota State University students will be sharing their pride on the streets of New York City.

For junior band member, William Kessler, this will be his fourth time marching in the parade.

Band has played a big role in William Kessler’s life. In high school, he represented the state of South Dakota in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band.

“It was very exhilarating for sure,” said William.

Now he’s returning to the parade route, this time representing his university.

“At first I was like ‘again, really?’ Then I saw everyone around me all of my friends that I’ve met through college, they were all cheering and whooping and hollering and then I was like ‘oh yeah, this is going to be a really great experience.’ I will be surrounded by all these people that I really like and it will be their first time so I will be kind of able to lead the way and take my experience from before and apply it to this year,” said William.

But, this time, the practice has been more intense. The pride has been working on perfecting their performance since the start of this season.

“Since marching band season started this fall, we knew that was a goal we had to obtain and we had all marching season to get a drill put together and learn our music,” said William.

“It’s certainly a great experience performing for a couple million people on the parade route, the tens of millions of people on the tv, but in addition to that we are going to be seeing everything that New York has to offer,” said Kevin Kessler, Pride of the Dakotas band director.

Bringing South Dakota pride to the big apple.

“I just hope people are proud of the work that the students are doing, proud that these amazing young men and women are representing our state and representing our university and I just hope they enjoy it and I hope it brings them a smile,” said Kevin

“It’s a really big deal for SDSU to have a spotlight on a national level and to show the country what we’ve got,” said William.

The band has already made it to New York City, where they are sightseeing and learning more about the city.

We will bring you more coverage of their experience thanks to reporters from the SDSU newspaper the Collegian.