Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade in a Nutshell:
The Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade has been an annual tradition for Chicago residents, and this year is no different. The parade, which celebrates its 79th year and is sponsored by McDonald's, will once again march down State Street on Thanksgiving (November 22, 2012).
This Year the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade Will Include:
Visits from Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald.
Some of Chicago’s most talented high school marching bands.
Giant balloons, including Garfield, Curious George and Underdog.
The McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade is the only parade in the city of Chicago to feature inflatable balloons every year.
Bit of history on the parade: It started in the times of the Great Depression and has been "lifting the spirits of Chicago and bringing the community together in celebration." Over 400,000 people lines the parade route on State Street.
Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade Essentials:
The Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade Web site has maps of the parade’s route and viewing areas. The parade begins at 8 a.m. on November 24, starting at State Street and Congress, usually around 11 a.m.
History of the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade: Chicago’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1936 when Walter Gregory, then president of the State Street Council, created the “Christmas Caravan” intended to stimulating economic development on State Street and also to cheer people up during the Depression.