The Mobile Azalea Trail Maids will be part of the 2019 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade.
The group consists of 50 high school seniors to represent and be the official goodwill ambassadors for their Alabama hometown. The history of the group starts in the late 1920’s when a local Jaycees chapter encouraged citizens to plant azaleas along a city street. Each spring, when the azaleas were in full bloom, local dignitaries would invite the public to the view the azaleas along the street, or “trail”, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Local debutantes would serve as hostesses for the event.
In 1949, the first official Azalea Trail Court was formed with two young women from local high schools. In 1951, the Azalea Trail Festival was formed, with Miss America serving as Queen of the Festival. Representatives from schools over 300 miles away came to serve on the Court.
A decision was made to limit the number on the Court to 50, and that has been the size of the Court now for over 30 years.
The Mobile Jaycees came up with another program to work with those young women from out-of-town. Their idea became America’s Junior Miss Program, a program that the Trail Maids still work with to this day.
The Azalea Trail Maids have participated in events all over the world, including the first inaugural parade for President Barack Obama. They have also appeared at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Easter Parade in Disney World, the 4th of July Parade in Atlanta, the Indianapolis 500 Parade in Indianapolis, and more.
You can find out more about the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids by visiting their web site at http://mobileazaleatrailmaids.com/.
And don’t miss them at the 2019 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade. The best way to see them, and the rest of the groups at the parade? Our VIP Area! Visit https://www.chicagothanksgivingparade.com/individual-sponsorship-2019/ for more information.