It’s turkey time! The Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the holiday season with a fun-filled morning in the heart of downtown Chicago.

The Parade takes over Chicago’s iconic State Street in the Loop from 8 – 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Watch the colorful procession make its way up State from Ida B. Well, Drive to Randolph Street at this free, all-ages event.

This year’s live entertainment will include marching bands, acrobats, and equestrians.

Unique performers include the famed Jesse White Tumbling Team, American Blues Theater, Ballet Folklorico, Chicago Korean Dance Company, Cirque Experience, Crystal Lake Strikers Drumline, Danza Azteca Xochitl-Quetzal, Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago, Huaxing Arts Group, Music Theater Works, and more.

It was created as the Christmas Caravan during the Great Depression in the 1930s to lift the spirits of those suffering. It remains a beloved holiday tradition to this day.

Parade highlights

  • Wake up early to catch more than 100 floats and performances, a lively mix of everything from equestrian performers and fire twirlers to ballerinas and soul steppers.
  • Gaze upward as the skyline fills with giant helium balloons led by Teddy Turkey, the Parade’s official mascot. You’ll see a cast of familiar and much-loved faces, from Garfield the Cat, outfitted as a pilgrim, to Bullwinkle J. Moose looking sharp in his suit.
  • Wave at the entertainers as the decorative floats cruise, And don’t miss fan favorite Santa Claus as he ushers in the holidays.
  • Topping it all off are incredible daily performances within the main stage area between Washington and Randolph Streets.

Where to watch the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade

The procession will travel north on Chicago’s iconic State Street from Ida B. Wells Drive to Randolph Street. Make sure to get there early to get a spot.

CW26will broadcast the entire Parade, airing live on WCIU, Channel 26.1, XFINITY 183|1026, RCN 6/606, WOW 10/207, Dish 26, Direct TV 26, Spectrum Charter 22/616, and U-Verse 10/1010. 

Here are a few things to do in the fall. Check out these Halloween in Chicago

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By Choose Chicago

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