When the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade steps off in Manhattan next Thursday, look for a familiar Verona face among the marchers. Rebecca Karpinski, a 2014 graduate of Verona High School, will be performing with the Tiptoe Winter Guard. (Tiptoe is the name of the parade’s large reindeer balloon.)
This is not Karpinski’s first time in the parade. Last year she performed with the Fusion Winter Guard, an indoor color guard competition unit based out of Clifton. (The photos here are of her performance last year.)
Karpinski knows well the performance demands of being in a color guard. She was a member of the Verona Marching Maroon and White from 2011 to 2014 and taught the Verona High School color guard in 2022. In addition to performing with the Macy’s parade guards, she has been in several award-winning units that compete in the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) indoor color guard circuit, including Fusion Core (DCA Best Color Guard), The Cadets2 (DCA World Champions and Best Color Guard), Q Winter Guard and, most recently, the Reading Buccaneers. This past summer, the Buccaneers won first place at DCA world championships, receiving a score of 99 and the award for best color guard. When not performing herself, Karpinski teaches color guard at Passaic Valley Regional High School and works at Flagstar Bank in New York City.
The Macy’s Parade runs 2 ½ miles from West 77th Street and Central Park West to Macy’s flagship store on West 34th Street beginning at 8:30 a.m. If you can’t be on the parade route, turn the TV on and look for Tiptoe.
Says Karpinski, “It would just mean the world to me if my town got to cheer me on when I perform in the biggest parade on Earth.”
Photos: Marissa Gagliano