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BENSON, N.C. (AP) -- Two high school bands from North Carolina will be taking part in the New Year's Day parade in London in 2014.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that the executive director of the parade extended the invitation to West Johnston High School in Benson and Leesville Road High School in Raleigh.

Both schools also are scheduled to perform in concert halls while they are in London.

Parade executive director Robert Bone says organizers like to give bands 15 months' notice. He says schools need that much time to raise the money they need for airfare and a week's visit to London.

Bone says the parade is twice as big as Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

The parade uses about 15 American bands each year.

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