Best Thanksgiving Parades Around the U.S.

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This Thursday a good majority of us will be either traveling to family and friends’ or preparing an enormous feast to celebrate Thanksgiving. While the morning is usually filled with meal prep, football and overall relaxing, one other quintessential Turkey Day activity is the traditional parade — highlighting marching bands, pop singers, and flamboyant floats, eventually culminates with the arrival of Santa Claus.

Who doesn’t love a parade! Check below for the best processions around the country:

NEW YORK CITY

Many cities host their own parade winding through local streets, but the most widely watched is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. Kicking off at 77th and Central Park West and making its way through Midtown finishing at, you guessed it, Macy’s in Herald Square. Typical appearances by the Woody Woodpecker, Snoopy, and Mighty Mouse balloons are a given.

CHICAGO

Chicago has their very own celebration with the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade taking to the streets. Heading up State Street, one of the city’s iconic shopping neighborhoods, the parade features floats and balloons to keep even big kids entertained but can serve as double duty for some pre-black Friday shopping.

PHILADELPHIA

Philly’s Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade is the oldest in the nation, ringing in its 97th year in 2016. Boasting one of America’s longest routes, the parade will keep revelers in awe with balloons and performances from bands and flag corps and, this year, the cast of “Mama Mia!” will be crooning down the street.

WALT DISNEY WORLD

Even Mickey and Minnie get in on the fun with their own parade down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. This parade kicks off at 3pm, allowing visitors to get in a few rides on Space Mountain before finding their spot on the side of the street. Also, the Happiest Place on Earth won’t go hungry since all restaurants will be serving up food for the day.

HOUSTON

Trade in the falling Mercury for some balmier temps in Houston. The H-E-B Thanksgiving Parade showcases floats, cheerleaders, bands and clowns for all ages entertainment. Best viewing is along Congress & San Jacinto Street with most downtown streets getting pretty packed, so getting an early start is a must before the 9am kick-off.

PORTLAND

NYC isn’t the only place to score the help of Macy’s — Portland’s Thanksgiving Parade is also hosted by the department store. My Macy’s Portland Holiday Parade has the expected floats and costumed characters, but this year will feature snow globes and a full-sized gingerbread house to jump-start the festive season.

RELATED LINKS:

7 Tips: Thanksgiving Travel Survival Guide

10 Busiest Airports For 2016 Thanksgiving Travel

Photo by NYCDOT used under the Creative Commons Attribution license