The Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner and major cities throughout the country are finalizing parade preparations for the big day. Thanksgiving parades are as much a holiday tradition as turkey, football and even pumpkin pie. Get ready to enjoy giant character balloons, marching bands and dance troops making their way through the city streets while Santa follows behind ushering in a festive start to the winter holiday season. Thanksgiving parades a fun and family-friendly way to celebrate one of the nation’s oldest traditions.
New York, New York – The mother of all Thanksgiving parades, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is the country’s largest and most recognized Thanksgiving parade. Now in its 82nd year, the parade attracts more than three million spectators and upwards of 44 million television viewers. If you’re planning to be in the New York area over Thanksgiving, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9am at 77th Street and Central Park West and continues for 2.5 miles through New York City’s Upper West Side before coming to an end at 34th Street and 7th Avenue. Don’t miss it!
Chicago, Illinois – The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago is best known for its giant inflatable character balloons. Expect to see such favorites as Garfield, Curious George and Underdog. Beginning at 8am on Thanksgiving Day, the parade marches down State Street from Congress to Randolph. The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade is one of three in the country with a national broadcast, so even if you can’t make it to Chicago you can still catch the live broadcast on television.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Dating back to 1910, the 6abc Ikea Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia is the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country. Beginning at 8:30am, the parade runs along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City. One of the best places to watch the parade is at its finish at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Other good viewing points include the south side of Eakins Oval (also in front of the Art Museum) and Logan Circle along the Parkway.
Detroit, Michigan – America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit began back in 1924 and attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators. The parade is famous for its ever expanding collection of giant papier-mâché heads. Known as the Big Heads, they resemble walking bobbleheads in costumes. The parade route begins at Woodward Avenue and Mack and continues through downtown Detroit. America’s Thanksgiving Parade kicks off after a pre-parade road race which includes a 1-mile Mashed Potato Mile, 5K Stuffing Strut and 10K Turkey Trot. Open to the public, it’s a great way to get in a bit of exercise before sitting down for your Thanksgiving feast.
Houston, Texas – Houston’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, also known as the H-E-B Holiday Parade, is a 61-year holiday tradition that takes place in the city of Houston. The parade attracts 400,000 spectators and is watched by nearly 2 million local television viewers throughout the state of Texas. The parade begins at 9am and makes its way through downtown Houston heading west on Texas to Fannin, turning south on Dallas and continuing east for four blocks before turning north on La Branch and ending at McKinney. The live television broadcast is syndicated in Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and several other major cities throughout the region.
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