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5 Famous Thanksgiving Parades in USA to Check Out!


The countdown for Thanksgiving 2021 is on, and needless to say, this year’s Thanksgiving is a little more special for all of us. Having been through a tough year that required us to break many Thanksgiving traditions (due to COVID-related restrictions), most importantly family reunions, now we couldn’t be more thankful for the blessings of the past year. While you are ecstatic about flying to the US and meeting up with your loved ones this holiday season, America too is gearing up for the return of certain popular holiday traditions like Thanksgiving parades, turkey trots, etc. Yes, in-person parade watching is back for Thanksgiving 2021! Get into the holiday spirit and check out these five famous Thanksgiving parades in the USA.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York:

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York
Source: NewYorkTours

The most famous of all Thanksgiving parades in the USA, Macy’s is the largest parade in the world. This iconic parade traditionally follows a 2.5-mile route through Manhattan, starting at Central Park West and ending at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square. The usually grand parade was a low-key affair last year, but this time it is all set to turn heads.

Macy’s Thanksgiving parade 2021 will feature 28 massive floats, 15 character balloons, 36 novelty and heritage inflatables, some 800 clowns, 10 marching bands, 9 performance groups, and of course, Santa Claus. No wonder 3 million people make it to Macy’s Thanksgiving parade every year to watch this spectacle! Book your last-minute flights with us now and don’t miss the 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago:

McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago
Source: Choosechicago

Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade was first organized in 1934 to cheer up people during the Great Depression and eventually, it become a holiday tradition. Larger-than-life floating balloons, beautifully decorated floats, equestrian units, dance troupes and marching bands parade down the State Street and Congress Parkway toward Randolph Street during this Thanksgiving Parade in the USA.

The three-hour-long procession starts at 8 AM EST and concludes at 11 AM. Make sure that you swathe yourself in warm winter clothes if you are planning to attend this spectacular parade in the Windy City.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit:

America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit
Source: MLive

First held in 1924, America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit is the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the USA alongside Macy’s that started in the same year. The first parade was organized with a decorated float (pulled by horses), four papier-mâché heads and seven marching bands.

It got grander over the years and today’s Detroit Thanksgiving parade in the USA features huge balloons and colorful floats along with marching bands and talented performers marching down the historic Woodward Avenue. The 95th America’s Thanksgiving Parade with the theme “Love on Woodward” is being presented by Gardner-White (an American furniture retail store chain).

6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia:

Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day
Source: Aerobaticappo

Thanksgiving parades in the USA trace their history to 1920 and Philadelphia is the first city to have hosted a Thanksgiving parade in the country. Every year since then, the City of Brotherly Love has been ushering in the holiday season with the 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade – its exuberant performances, colorful floats, and humongous balloons representing characters from pop culture. Celebrity appearances are quite common at this century-old parade, the oldest in the US.

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021 will set off from the intersection of 20th Street and JFK Boulevard around 8.30 pm and culminates at the Philadelphia Museum of Art around noon, after covering one-and-a-half miles in downtown Philadelphia.

Suggested Read: 5 Popular Festivals of America Beyond Independence Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving

America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade in Plymouth:

Thanksgiving Parade in Plymouth
Source: Fodors

Plymouth, the historical place where the first Thanksgiving meal was held by the Pilgrims of the Plymouth colony in 1621, prides itself on being the hometown of Thanksgiving Day. The town is known to organize ‘America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade’ with its rich history as the theme of this parade that takes place along the waterfront area. Vintage American cars and handmade floats are common sightings at the parade.

Performers bring American history to life with their chronological re-enactment of significant events from the 17th century through the 21st. Plymouth’s Thanksgiving parade is considered one of America’s only historically accurate chronological parades. Unlike most Thanksgiving parades in the USA, America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade that pays tribute to the Pilgrims and America’s earliest settlers happens on the Saturday preceding Thanksgiving Day.


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