The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a festive event that draws crowds to downtown Chicago on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. The 77th edition of the Thanksgiving Day Parade is being held on Thursday, November 25, 2010 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. For many, the Thanksgiving Day Parade is the kick-off to the Christmas Holiday season.
The grand holiday tradition is a family friendly event that can be enjoyed by kids and adults, who gather to see the spectacle of Santa Claus, Ronald McDonald and a cast of t thousands marching down State Street. The parade includes marching bands, giant helium balloons, decorated floats, entertainers and holiday cheer.
The Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago has been held since 1934, during the Great Depression. The parade was created by the State Street Council as the State Street Christmas Caravan, in hopes of spurring the economy and of cheering up the citizens of Chicago. Since the first Christmas Caravan, the parade has grown and changed along with the City, becoming the traditional Thanksgiving Parade of the current era. Over the years the parade has been sponsored by the State Street Council, the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, Brachs, Target, Marshall Fields and McDonald’s.
The parade route starts at State Street and Congress and ends at State Street and Randolph Street, traveling through the heart of downtown Chicago, Illinois. The Thanksgiving Parade attracts about a half million spectators, according to the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade website. Because the parade draws a large crowd, public transportation to and around downtown Chicago is recommended.
Thanksgiving Day is a holiday that most people have off from work, so it is like a free day to spend with the family. Families around America gather over a dinner table in a spirit of giving thanks for their blessings. The Thanksgiving Day Parade is an event that can be enjoyed with friends and family before the family gatherings take place. After the parade is over, the festivities downtown continue, as people go window shopping on the Magnificent Mile shops of Michigan Avenue and/or visit Santa and the German Christmas Market at Daley Plaza.
Instead of rushing away after the parade, spend at least part of the day in downtown Chicago to see the holiday decorations on the Magnificent Mile, Macy’s (formerly Marshall Fields) windows and at Daley Plaza. The weather is normally cool and mild on Thanksgiving Day, so this is an excellent day to spend time downtown and see the Christmas and holiday decorations. Festival of LIghts on Magnificent Miles Kicks Off Christmas in Chicago
Holidays at Winter Wonderland at the John Hancock Observatory in Chicago
The Chicago Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Daley Plaza kicks off the Christmas season on the day before Thanksgiving. The German Christmas Market and Santa House on Daley Plaza are open for special hours on Thanksgiving Day. The outdoor attractions at Daley Plaza are open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Take the family to visit Santa Claus and enjoy a snack or sandwich from the vendors at the German Christmas Market. Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Festivities at Daley Plaza
For people that are unable to travel downtown for the holiday parade, it is televised live. The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is broadcast live on WGN 9 Chicago from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 25, 2010. The televised parade is a tradition for many who watch from home while preparing for Thanksgiving dinner.