Scarborough unicyclists to perform in Presidential parade

8:08 PM, Jan 5, 2013   |    comments
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SCARBOROUGH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Circus performers in Scarborough are preparing a parade performance that's fit for a President.

The Gym Dandies have been selected to perform in the upcoming Presidential Inauguration Parade on January 21.

"It's a real honor and privilege to be in an inauguration parade," said Gym Dandies founder Jon Cahill. "It comes around every four years, so it's the Olympics of parades."

The student group beat out more than 2,000 other applicants for a spot in the parade route down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Forty-one Scarborough students will be unicycling in the parade, some juggling at the same time.

"They put in hundreds of hours to get to this skill level to be able to do that," said Cahill.

Though they've appeared in parades as large as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the group comes from humble beginnings.

Cahill said it started in 1981 with a box of tennis balls and 10 enthusiastic kids.

He started by teaching his gym class how to juggle. Then, a student brought in a unicycle and said he wanted to learn how to ride.

Three decades later, the Gym Dandies has an alumni base 3,000 students strong.

"It's sort of humbling to see what's happened with this," said Cahill.

Parade performers range in age from nine to 18 -- and even the youngest among them recognize what an honor it is to participate in history.

"I am a politics nut, so really this is my dream to do it," said Mary Jane Uzzi, an eleven-year-old perfomer.

"I've written to Michelle Obama, and I told her about how I'm in the circus and stuff, and now we're going there."


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