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Presidents in NY

Here's something lovers of the Black Hills can do while waiting for the turkey to finish basting: Watch the South Dakota float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The float, appearing in the parade for the second year, will feature Mount Rushmore -- of course -- but as an added attraction singer Neil Diamond will be aboard.

Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond  is a national monument in his own right. Inducted into the Rock and Roll  Hall of Fame earlier this year, he has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including eight No. 1 hits. He is considered to be the third most successful adult contemporary artist ever on the Billboard chart, behind Barbra Streisand and Elton John. Pretty good company.

All week long, New Yorkers have been catching glimpses of granite-but-animated presidents, fuzzy mascots depicting George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The foursome -- they always pose in the order they appear on the National Memorial -- have been riding double-decker buses, hanging out at Macy's Department Store and posing for pictures on the streets of the Big Apple.

The float is in the Macy's parade as part of a three-year deal with South Dakota Tourism and its industry partners such as Visit Rapid City and the Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes Association. The goal of the campaign is to drive new and repeat visitors to the state in addition to creating brand awareness. It is estimated that more than 3.5 million spectators on the streets of New York and over 50 million television viewers nationwide will watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

About the Author

Dan is an on-again, off-again Black Hills resident since 1978. The Aberdeen native hit the road after high school, building houses in Boulder, working oil rigs on Colorado's Western Slope, delivering cars in California. In Wyoming and Idaho, he worked as a newspaper journalist. But the Black Hills kept luring him back. For 18 years, he wrote for the Rapid City Journal. The job gave him a chance to see the Hills from atop Mount Rushmore and the bottom of the Homestake Mine. Whenever possible, Dan grabs his dog Kody and heads to the Hills. These days, he's perfecting the art of low-impact backpacking: hike two hours to a scenic spot, break out the wine, cook up the pasta, watch the sunset and fall asleep under the stars.

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