Parade brings brothers together for one more performance


Gracie Terrall, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Micah Lillie’s senior year was supposed to end last May, but he decided to stick around for one more semester for a very special reason. 

Micah marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the South Dakota State University Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band while his younger brother, Harry Lillie, marched with the University of Missouri’s Marching Mizzou band. 

“It’s exciting,” Harry said. “It’s something that when people march in Macy’s, they don’t get to do. When you have a sibling in band, the odds of us being together are slim. It’s not something that normally happens, especially when you have two schools that seem so separate from one another.”

Micah plays the baritone for the Pride and is a fifth-year senior majoring in journalism at SDSU. Harry, a sophomore geography major, plays the alto saxophone.

The brothers were joined in New York by their parents, Kent and Jolie, who are from Lakeville, Minnesota. Kent says he’s proud to see both his sons march in the parade.

“Once we knew they were both going, we looked at each other and knew that we would be going too,” Kent said. “It was one of those things that was a given so we started saving and planning right away.”

During Harry’s senior year of high school, he had already committed to Mizzou when they found out about going to Macy’s. While watching the announcement video, Harry said, he saw a short clip of the Pride and got an inkling that they too would be heading to march in the Big Apple. 

Harry and his parents decided to keep the trip a secret from Micah and waited until SDSU got their official invitation to Macy’s. At the time, Micah thought he would have graduated already and was just looking forward to going to New York to watch his brother and alma mater play. But Kent and Jolie convinced him to stay an extra semester to march with the Pride. 

“My parents were like ‘You should stay and do another semester,’ but I was set on graduating after four years and not going over,” Micah said. “They really convinced me. It’s a nice epilogue, it’s one more show. I get to finish going out on top.”

Kent created a spreadsheet of all three itineraries–SDSU band, SDSU fans and Mizzou band– so the whole family knew what everyone was doing during their trip. On Monday, they all had a little time to get together and decided to see the firehouse from the 1984 “Ghostbusters,” something Micah had been wanting to see his whole life. 

“Since he had been little, one of Micah’s things has been ‘Ghostbusters,’” Kent said. “There is not a force of nature or anything else that will keep him from seeing the fire station from ‘Ghostbusters.’”

Micah and Harry both attended Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Since they are three years apart, they only got one year to march together. Micah’s last performance during his senior year was thought to be the last time the brothers would perform together. But now five years later, they marched together again, albeit with different bands.

“Because this is such a big event, it’s hitting more that we’re going to be doing it together,” Micah said. “Even if it’s way apart, we’re gonna be in the same show, but on our own paths. It’s like, instead of being co-stars in a sitcom, it’s like a crossover event of our own individual shows.”