Snoopy with Woodstock in Macy's Day Parade

The Top 5 Best Thanksgiving Parades

Thanksgiving is a holiday full of food, family and friends, more food, and parades. Whether you’re watching the parades while you cook or traveling across the Unites States, you’ll enjoy these top five Thanksgiving Day parades. 

The McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (NYC) 

No Thanksgiving Day parade list is complete without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. According to the organization, 2018 will be the parade’s 92nd year to fill the streets of New York City.  Each year, there are more than 3.5 million people that flood the streets of New York to watch, and more than 50 million people tune in from home.  

More than 10,000 people help operate this event. The amount of time and money that goes into its production is absolutely astounding. Broadway performers, popular singers and artists, groups from all over the nation, and balloons five stories tall all find their way through the crowded streets of New York City for this annual event.  

Tune into NBC at 8 a.m. Central on Thursday, November 22 to watch the live broadcast of this event. 

If you plan on being there to watch in person, the parade begins at 77th Street and Central Park West, wraps around Central Park, and heads down 6th Avenue to West 38th Street. 

Uncle Dan’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Chicago) 

What began as an attempt to raise city morale during the Great Depression in 1934 is now an 85-year-old tradition that brings almost half a million people together in the streets of Chicago every year. According to parade organizers, this parade boasts an impressive celebrity line-up, and more than 5,000 people participate in the march. There will also be plenty of balloons that find their way through the streets, along with dancing acts, marching bands, and live performances. 

2018 is the first year this parade is known as the Uncle Dan’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Before this, it was known as the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And although it has a new name, it’s the same parade that has been enjoyed and supported by the community for so many years. 

Tune into WGN America or WGN9 at 8 a.m. Central on Thursday, November 22 to watch live event. 

If you plan on being there to watch in person, the parade stretches down State Street, from Congress all the way to Randolph.  

Annual H-E-B Holiday Parade (Houston)  

If you prefer your festivities in a place that is less likely to feature cold winds and snow, the 69th annual H-E-B Holiday Parade is a great option for 2018. The parade’s organizers say this parade attracts more than 200,000 people to the streets of downtown Houston. It’s full of marching bands, live entertainment, and giant balloons, making it a more intimate and hometown version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. 

The parade starts at 9 a.m. Central on Thursday, November 22.  

If you plan on being there to watch in person, the parade starts on Lamar and Smith, goes up to Walker Street, over to Milam Street, all the way down to Pease Street, and then back up and around to Dallas and Smith Street. 

Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade (Charlotte) 

The 71st annual Charlotte Thanksgiving Parade will consist of dozens of floats, large, festive balloons, live performances, and tons of marching bands. The organization posted that last year’s parade saw over 110,000 people line the streets of downtown Charlotte to see this festive ushering of the holiday season. It is the largest Thanksgiving Day parade in the southeast and is always a guaranteed way to add some extra flavor to your Thanksgiving plans. 

If you are in the region, tune into WBTV, Channel 3 (CBS) at 4 p.m. Central on November 22 to watch a recording of the parade, which takes place at 9 a.m. Central on the same day.  

If you plan on being there to watch, in person: the parade starts at 9th Street and goes all the way down Tyron Street to Stonewall Street. Marching Band in Parade

My Macy’s Holiday Parade (Seattle) 

While it is also produced by the same Macy’s that puts on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, this is a very different parade. On the opposite side of the country, My Macy’s Holiday Parade takes place the day after Thanksgiving. So, if you’re Thanksgiving Day is booked full, this parade is a great chance to celebrate on the streets with hundreds of thousands of people. 

The parade starts at 11 a.m. Central on November 23. 

If you plan on being there to watch in person, the parade starts at 7th Street and Pine, goes to 5th Street and Pine, runs all the way down 5th Street to University, where it then goes to 4th Street and Pine, right next to Macy’s. 

Local parades are a great way to get involved in your community, get to know your area, and celebrate the season. Check out one of these parades or look to see if you’re city holds its own Thanksgiving parade. Wherever you are and however you celebrate, be safe and enjoy the holidays! 

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