- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Contemporary Christian music band MercyMe will appear on “Mount Rushmore’s American Pride” float at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

South Dakota Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen says the band’s “music and unique sound have garnered them millions of fans around the country.”

This is the South Dakota Department of Tourism’s sixth year appearing in the New York City parade. Neil Diamond appeared on the float in 2011, and Don McLean, singer of “American Pie,” appeared in 2012. The following year, rocker Joan Jett had was pulled to another float after complaints from some South Dakota farmers and ranchers who questioned why the vegetarian and animal-rights ally was representing their beef-loving state.

The agency says the goal of the parade appearance is to drive new and repeat visitors to South Dakota.

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