JACKSON – The Jackson Memorial Jaguar Marching Band has a fall tradition that has nothing to do with football games, band camp or competitions.
Every year, they hop on buses and take a grueling hour and fifteen minute ride to the Atlantic City Boardwalk to perform in the Miss America “Show Us Your Shoes” Parade, a pageant staple since the 1970s, held on the day before the new Miss America is crowned.
Back in those days, people watched the Miss America contestants roll by in their convertible cars while perched high up on their hotel balconies. Noticing that the contestants opted to wear either casual footwear, or even no footwear at all, the chant, “show us your shoes!” was yelled as a tease from those balconies – and it seemed to catch on.
Fast-forward a number of years, contestants have embraced the chant, wearing anything from army boots, flip flops, bunny slippers, basketball sneakers, to crystal-encrusted designer shoes on their feet, often celebrating the spirit of their home states. Think cowboy boots for Texas.
The Jaguar Marching Band performed as a featured band in this year’s Miss America “Show Us Your Shoes” Parade on Saturday, September 9, following up Miss Wyoming and closing out the beloved event.
There is no doubt that the organizers of the two-mile parade route down Atlantic City’s famous Boardwalk saved the best band for last, as student musicians delighted parade-goers and proud band parents alike with classic tunes like “On Broadway” and Walk the Moon’s popular hit “Shut Up and Dance.”
Until next year, Marching Jaguars.