A total of 250 students from the Belleville East High School Marching Lancers and the Alton High School Marching 100 will perform as a group during the annual Magnificent Mile Holiday Parade on Saturday in Chicago.
The band will perform the title song from Polar Express.
Both bands will represent Southern Illinois in the event, which only invites four to five bands to participate. An estimated 1 million people will view the parade live and will air in St. Louis on the local ABC affiliate at noon Dec. 2.
"This is a unique experience, we have a lot of people that have not played together before," Belleville East associate band director Timothy Hassall said.
The students will leave Friday and return Sunday evening.
In addition to the performance, the bands will celebrate with a dinner and dance at the top of the Willis Tower and visit other Chicago attractions.