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Coeur d’Alene’s Red Hot Mamas will perform in virtual inaugural parade

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 19, 2021

Members of the Red Hot Mamas take part in the Coeur d’Alene Fourth of July parade in 2018.  (Libby Kamrowski)
Members of the Red Hot Mamas take part in the Coeur d’Alene Fourth of July parade in 2018. (Libby Kamrowski)

The Red Hot Mamas, a Coeur d’Alene marching and dance ensemble, will perform in their third inaugural parade Wednesday, although unlike their previous appearances, they won’t be going to Washington, D.C.

The group is part of the “virtual” inaugural parade that will feature video performances from around the country rather than marching down Pennsylvania Avenue after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are sworn in.

The Red Hot Mamas were in the nation’s capital in 2001 and 2005 for the George W. Bush inaugurations. They’ve also performed at other big events, including three appearances in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the 2004 London New Year’s Day parade and parades for the Fiesta and Holiday Bowls.

Mikki Stevens, founder of the ensemble, said in a Facebook post that she was contacted on Jan. 6 by a producer for the inauguration and two days later the Presidential Inauguration Committee gave the idea a thumbs-up.

Although their previous inaugural parade appearances have been for a Republican, and this one is for a Democrat, Stevens said on Facebook the Mamas “are on everyone’s side and do not support or unsupport political parties. We can’t even agree on a shade of lipstick, let alone important stuff.”

Stevens wrote that she recruited 10 willing members of the troupe who could clear their schedules for six straight days of practice for the routine. They began rehearsing three songs at the Northwest Tile and Flooring Warehouse on Jan. 8, shifted to the First Presbyterian Church the next day, and eventually taped a routine to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” at the Hagadone Event Center on Jan. 15.

They later learned that song didn’t receive clearance and taped routines to four different recordings.

“We are thrilled to be able to contribute to this year’s virtual parade with the special goal of highlighting the goodness and hope of Americans across our nation,” Stevens said in her Facebook post.

Stevens and the Mamas will also be included in a segment for the show titled “Heroes Next Door,” the inaugural committee said.

“Since the pandemic hit, they have performed in assisted living and retirement home parking lots – parading around the buildings so all the quarantined residents could see the performance,” the committee said in a news release announcing details of the parade.

The event, scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. Pacific Time, will also feature Jon Stewart, Earth Wind & Fire, Andra Day, Olympic athletes and others.

That news release says the parade will feature “diverse, dynamic performances in communities in all 56 states and territories.” But Alex Prowda, a spokesman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said Tuesday he could find no reference to a specific group performing in Washington state.

“I think there are people participating from every state,” he added.

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