SD Tourism Dept. re-signs with Macy's parade

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Entertainment,Travel

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The state of South Dakota will be appearing in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade for another three years, Tourism Secretary James Hagen said Thursday.

Hagen said Macy's invited the Department of Tourism to renew their contact to appear in the parade for a float that features Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, the Black Hills and more. For the past three years, a South Dakota float featuring some of the state's most well-known attractions has appeared in the parade. A musician also has been featured on the float. Past musicians include Don McLean and Neil Diamond.

"We were really excited," Hagen said of the contract renewal. "The thing that most excites me is that not a lot of states or different entities get the opportunity to be able to showcase themselves on this sort of platform."

Hagen said 43 million people watched the first airing of this past year's broadcast, which adds to the state's exposure.

The Tourism Department spent about $225,000 each year for the past three years for the opportunity, which covers the cost of the float and the talent on the float, Hagen said, adding that the price is anticipated to go down for the next three years.

Officials have not yet held any meetings to discuss which musician will appear atop the float this coming November, Hagen said.

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