PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many of the participants in Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be away from home for the holiday, but making the best of it for the opportunity.

17 year old Ben Williams plays the snare drum and performing in the parade with his high school marching band from Birmingham Alabama.

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“You know it’s a little bit tough cause everybody is going to see my extended family,” said Ben at parade practice on Wednesday. “I’ll probably be calling my parents and telling them I love them and all that.”

Sandy Schappart from Wilkes-Barre was watching her daughter perform with other cheerleaders.

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“Well I was lucky enough that my husband came down as well, my son decided to stay home and have dinner with his grandparents so that will be nice for him,” said Sandy. “But we will have a big Thanksgiving dinner at the hotel in the ballroom. It will be a served meal with everybody and we’ll get to watch a video of the parade while we are eating.”

On Friday, some of the out of towners say they plan to go shopping and take in the sites.

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Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio