Between 150,000 and 250,000 screams roared down the streets of Hong Kong as Brownstown’s Trey DeHart paraded in a big Blue mascot uniform.
With the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders, DeHart marched as one of the NFL team’s representatives in China.
DeHart recently flew 16 hours with the cheerleading squad to dress up as the Colts’ beloved mascot, Blue, for the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade.
The 2012 Brownstown Central graduate interned with the Colts while studying at Purdue University and now works with a youth football program in Indy.
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The Colts were the lone organization from the United States in the parade.
“Our cheerleading (department) reached out to the Hong Kong board of tourism,” DeHart said. “They only take one group from the United States. You send videos, pictures and everything, and after six months they determine what groups they want. They picked us, and our normal mascot couldn’t go. Right after the new year, my bosses asked me if I wanted to do it, and I said, ‘Of course.’
“I had (dressed as Blue) five or six times but never had to perform. I had signed autographs and took pictures. I told them I would learn, and that’s how it all started.”
DeHart said the Colts beat out dance groups from around the country, including those from the television show “America’s Got Talent.”
Last year, the Denver Broncos cheerleaders attended, and the Seattle Seahawks cheer squad also has paraded in the past.
There were 10 international acts in the parade and between 25 and 30 groups from Hong Kong, DeHart estimated.
“The parade route was a little over a mile, and we had four performances along the way in different zones,” DeHart said. “We also did two other 20-minute shows during our time there. One was on Lee Tung Avenue, and another in front of our hotel, Pentahotel.”
While playing sports at Brownstown Central, DeHart learned how to perform in the spotlight.
However, the parade was a different kind of show.
“Growing up playing sports and everything, you perform,” DeHart said. “But for me, (the parade) was completely different. I never did musicals or anything like that.
“I was actually more nervous for the 16-hour flight than being the mascot. I kind of knew how the other mascot did things and went off that. I knew that if I screwed up, I would just go with the flow.”
While overseas, DeHart was able to do some traveling outside the parade.
He said he stayed in China for four days.
“We did have some time to sightsee,” DeHart said. “We went to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Victoria’s Peak, Stanley Market and Ladies Market, as well as a seafood dinner on Lamma Island on our last night in Hong Kong. We also got to watch the Chinese New Year’s firework show from atop a building overlooking Victoria Harbour.”
DeHart said the parade was a total success, and the crowd loved the mascot.
“The kids loved it,” he said. “There were kids who also performed in the parade. We went to the staging area, and they took pictures and asked for hugs. During the parade, everyone was shouting ‘Blue.’”
Should he get the opportunity again, DeHart said he would heed the chance to get back into the Colts suit in the future for events.
“I had a blast,” DeHart said. “It was the first time I had ever really traveled. Now, I feel like I can go anywhere after traveling halfway around the world.”