McDonald’s® Thanksgiving Parade this year celebrates 80 years of Chicago holiday tradition. A dozen loveable character balloons, top marching bands from across the country, festive floats, cultural groups, theatrical performances, equestrian groups, and celebrity guests, plus over a thousand dedicated volunteers, all marching through the Loop, make the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade an annual celebration for the whole family. For those not in Chicago, the parade is broadcast, in its entirety, live for three hours on WGN 9 Chicago and WGN America. The 2013 McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade takes place LIVE on State Street between Congress Parkway and Randolph Street in downtown Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28 from 8 to 11 a.m. (CST).
Originally called the Christmas Caravan in the 1930s, the Parade was created in 1934 to help lift the spirits of residents suffering though the Great Depression. Since then it has developed into a full-scale spectacle celebrating the holiday season. What once started out as an attempt to boost Chicago’s economy has evolved into a cherished tradition for Chicagoans and Americans alike.
Alongside the 80th Annual Parade’s celebrity Grand Marshal and Honored Guests, the Parade’s lineup includes over 100 diverse groups, plus Honorary Grand Marshal Ronald McDonald®, Chicago’s favorite fun-loving bird and Parade mascot, Teddy Turkey, and an appearance by Santa Claus. The jaw- dropping Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, acrobatic Jesse White Tumbling Team, the graceful Joffrey Ballet, majestic Budweiser Clydesdales, dynamic Million Dollar Quartet, high-kicking Kilgore College Rangerettes, pitch-perfect Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, hilarious Second City, and fire-twirling Barefoot Hawaiian are just a few of this year’s remarkable featured performers. McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade is an annual presentation by the Chicago Festival Association.
The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade takes place rain or shine Thanksgiving Day each year. For more information about the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, please visit www.chicagofestivals.org
* Family Time Magazine | November 2013