A 6-year-old Riviera Beach boy has a chance today to ride the biggest float in the nation's largest Thanksgiving Day parade.
Freddie Sutherland was one of 88 children chosen to be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City at 9 a.m. today.
A first-grader at Calvary Baptist Church Academy in Glen Burnie, Freddie won his position on the Showboat Float by competing in Macy's"Be a Star" contest.
Although Freddie's mom said she's nervous about the parade, he said he isn't, and "can't wait" to be on national television.
"Aren't I lucky," he said. "I'm going to get a lot of money and be in the newspaper."
Well, that's not quite true, his mother, Kimberly Sutherland, said. Freddie did not get paid for his efforts.
Freddie's quest for a postion on the float began last summer when his mother saw an advertisement for the contest in Macy's children's department in Marley Station Mall.
"I think it's been good for him," Kimberly Sutherland says. "I like him to get up in front ofthe public."
About 6,000 children, ages 4-14, competed for the chance to be in the parade. Of the applications, Macy's officials chose100 from each of four East Coast regions, said a Macy's spokeswoman in Washington.
Freddie traveled to the Macy's store in Northern Virginia Sept. 15 to compete with the children in this region for one of 24 spots.
"I think I looked the best," he said of his day on stage with the other children.
Freddie said he had to compete in a sort of fashion show, where each child walked on stage in front of fourjudges.
"I just watched how the other kids did it," he said. "Andthen I did it that way. I had to walk on the stage, do some turns and then say my name and walk off."
The children were judged on poise, personality and appearance, the Macy's spokeswoman said.
This wasn't the first time Freddie has had a chance to show off his talents. Last summer he was in a back-to-school fashion show. He has also interviewed with a New York modeling agency.
"They have called him for interviews, but they only give about four-hour notices, and I didn't want to pull him out of school," Kimberly Sutherland said.
Although Freddie is a budding model now, he said he wants to be a police officer when he grows up.
"Because you get to arrest people who are bad," he said of his career choice.