Top 6 Thanksgiving Parades Around The US

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Thanksgiving parades are an essential part of the holiday festivities. Thousands of people across the US come together to watch their favorite Thanksgiving parades. The massive floats, festive holiday balloons, and marching bands enthrall kids and grown-ups alike. Have you decided on which parade to watch this year? No? We can fix that! Choose from a few Thanksgiving parades we’ve selected from cities across America. Check out the Top 6 Thanksgiving parades around the US. You will find one that you can watch before settling down for a delicious turkey feast with family and friends.

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1. Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, New York

The most iconic of them, the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York, has marked the advent of the holidays in America since 1924. Each year on Thanksgiving Day, the three-hour parade is held in Manhattan from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EST).

This year, Macy’s Thanksgiving parade lineup includes 29 giant balloons featuring popular characters such as Pikachu, Goku, and Snoopy. The Grinch, the Pillsbury Doughboy, and SpongeBob SquarePants will also make an appearance. The parade will also feature 11 marching bands. These include bands from the Madison Central High School, the Morgan State University, the NYPD, and Macy’s. This year there will be 32 floats. You can see floats by Sesame Street, Big Red Shoe Car, Central Park, Cornucopia, Kinder Fantasy Chocolate Factory, and TMNT. There’ll be plenty of individual and group performances and many, many clowns.  All this makes the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade one of the best Thanksgiving parades for families and kids.

Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Route

This year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade will kick off on November 28, 2019, at 9 am from 77th St & Central Park West. It will then move towards Herald Square (Broadway & 34th) via Central Park West, Columbus Circle, Central Park South & 6th Avenue. You can check the detailed Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Route at https://www.macys.com/social/parade/where-to-watch/.

Where to Watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

It’s been estimated that over more than 3.5 million people in New York watch the parade annually. Another 50 million or so watch the Thanksgiving procession at home on tv. You can also watch the parade online at nbc.com/live and on the NBC app. Verizon’s YouTube channel will also have a live stream with 360-degree views of the parade.

Even so, nothing can quite match up to the experience of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade live. Luckily, there are quite a few vantage points where you can view the glorious

spectacle that is the Macy’s parade.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Viewing and Breakfast – Get superb views of the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from an office. It’s right on the parade route and allows unobstructed views of the Macy’s parade. Watch the floats at eye level and enjoy a New York bagel breakfast while you wait for the parade to come down 6th Avenue.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Brunch at Rue 57 – Catch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at The Annual Parade Viewing Brunch while comfortably seated at a table. Satisfy your appetite with a scrumptious brunch buffet that will be served throughout the event. For the adults, there’s a special brunch cocktail open bar.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Viewing Brunch at Marriott on 35th – Enjoy breathtaking views of America’s most spectacular holiday parade in the luxury of a first-class venue. The Marriott’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Brunch private offers unique unobstructed, panoramic views of the Macy’s parade. You’ll also get a yummy hot and cold brunch buffet, and access to an open bar with brunch cocktails.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Premium Viewing Brunch – Relax at this private viewing brunch at a famous Italian restaurant with a private outdoor viewing area. Relish a multi-course Italian inspired brunch buffet, specialty brunch cocktails, and mocktails at this family-friendly venue.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Viewing Brunch at Jam’s – Catch unobstructed views of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in a glass-enclosed private space. You can enjoy a delectable brunch buffet while watching the parade through floor to ceiling windows.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Breakfast at Gotham Hall – Tuck into a sumptuous breakfast buffet at Gotham Hall. Just step outside onto the 6th Avenue sidewalk to watch the Macy’s balloons, celebrity performers and floats pass by you. You’ll have full use of the venue, indoor and outside, from 8 a.m. till the parade ends.

2. Thanksgiving Parade, Chicago

Another one America’s favorites, the Thanksgiving parade in Chicago each year, lures hundreds of thousands of viewers. The spectacular parade includes marching bands, vibrant floats, and huge helium balloons. The Chicago Thanksgiving parade has its origin sometime in the 1930s. Over the years it evolved into an eagerly awaited thanksgiving for the entire family. The parade is overseen by its mascot, Teddy Turkey. The Chicago Thanksgiving parade has been sponsored by corporates such as McDonald’s, Target, and Uncle Dan’s.

Teddy Turkey, the adorable mascot of the Chicago Thanksgiving parade, made his first appearance in the 2009 parade. It’s a Chicago Thanksgiving tradition to have Teddy appear across the city to meet people and spread holiday cheer.

You will see plenty of popular characters down below on the ground as well as hovering high above the crowds. There are colorful floats and giant helium balloons of characters like Kermit, Big Bird, and Cookie Monster. Ronald McDonald also makes an appearance, walking along with dozens of other clowns.

Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade Route

The Chicago Thanksgiving parade starts at 8:00 am on Thanksgiving morning – November 28, 2019, at State Street in downtown Chicago. From State Street, the parade then moves north from Congress Parkway and ends at Randolph Street. You needn’t worry if you cannot make it there. WGN-TV and the WGN America cable network run live telecasts of the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade.

Parades not your thing? There’s a lovely Lake Michigan Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise you could try.

3. America’s Thanksgiving Parade, Detroit

America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit is the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country. It was first held in 1924 by the J.L. Hudson Company department store. Currently, America’s Thanksgiving Parade is presented by Art Van, the furniture retail store chain. It is organized by The Parade Company. Thousands of viewers line up on Woodward Avenue to watch energetic marching bands, colorful floats, and soaring gigantic balloons. A bit of trivia – America’s Thanksgiving Parade was declared the Best Holiday Parade in America by USA Today (Reader’s Choice) in 2018.

As always, this year too, the parade is being held on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, at 9 a.m. in the heart of downtown Detroit. The parade is usually preceded by the Turkey Trot race at 7.30 am.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade Route

America’s Thanksgiving Parade starts at the corner of Kirby and Woodward at 8:45 a.m. It will then continue south on Woodward Avenue via the TV Zone at Grand River and Woodward. The parade will end at Woodward and Congress. If you aren’t able to make it to the parade, you can watch the live broadcast on WDIV Local 4 from 10 am.

4. 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade, Philadelphia

With a rich history dating back to 1920, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade is probably the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the US. The parade was started by the now-defunct Gimbel Brothers Department Store for the people of Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade prides itself on being the most band-friendly parade in the country. High school, university, and specialty marching bands participate in the Philly Thanksgiving Parade. The parade also hosts colorful floats, humungous balloons, and celebrity appearances. The parade has balloons representing characters from pop culture, including children’s books, comic books, animated movies, and TV series.

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade Route

This year the parade will start at 8.30 am on November 28 and end at noon. The Philly Thanksgiving parade route starts from the intersection of 20th Street and JFK Boulevard. Then it turns left onto 16th Street and again left onto Ben Franklin Parkway and then reaches Logan Circle. It then loops around the southern part of Logan Circle and travels on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway till it reaches Eakins Oval. From there, the parade proceeds along south Eakins Oval and finishes in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The parade is also aired by WPVI-TV for those who cannot make it to the live venue. Do bundle up, Philly can be quite chilly!

5. H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade, Houston

The HEB Thanksgiving parade started in 1949. Since then, it has enthralled and entertained the Houston community every year on Thanksgiving morning. The Houston Thanksgiving Parade boasts a variety of floats, high-flying balloons, lively marching bands, dance performances, and other live entertainment. All of this in some lovely Texas Fall weather! The parade is produced by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events. This year the parade is set to showcase 12 character balloons and 13 floats. The parade will also feature eight performing groups and eight marching bands from across the state.


HEB Thanksgiving Parade Route

The HEB Thanksgiving Parade usually starts on Thanksgiving Day morning at 9 a.m. from Smith at Lamar, heads north to Walker, then east to Milam. From there, it moves south to Pease, west to Louisiana, north to Clay, west to Smith. It then again turns north to finally end at Smith and Dallas.

6. Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Parade, New Orleans

The Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Parade in New Orleans is part of the Bayou Classic. The Bayou Classic is an annual college football game between the Grambling State University Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars in New Orleans. While it may not be on the scale of a Macy’s, but the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade has its fans. They line up by the thousands to watch it trundle through New Orleans from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The parade kicks off at the Mercedes Benz Superdome and makes its way down to the French Market. Some of the best marching bands in the country will be playing. We hope you find a parade that catches your fancy on this list. If not, just head over to the Way website and choose a fun activity that you like!

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