McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade returns to Chicago

November 23, 2011 9:24:30 AM PST
Millions of parade-goers are expected to kick off Thanksgiving Day amidst sky-high balloons, equestrian units, marching bands, dance troupes and cultural entertainment.

This year's McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade will take place LIVE on State Street in downtown Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (CST).

Expected to top over 100 Parade units, this year's lineup includes a wide range of spectacular group performances. The high-energy Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® present Fully Charged and the always popular Million Dollar Quartet are just two of the many amazing groups this year. Each year, the McDonald's ® Thanksgiving Parade features the top marching bands from all over the country, including Apopka High School (Florida), Worthington High School (Minnesota) and Milton High School (Georgia). This also includes Chicagoland's best high school bands, featuring performances from Proviso East High School and Marist High School.

And what's a parade without horses? Marching the route this year, among many others, will be the Wells Fargo Stagecoach and the Budweiser Clydesdales. The fantastic giant balloons are back again this year! The twelve balloons include fan favorites such as Fred Flintstone, Big Bird, Elmo, and Curious George. Be sure to watch out for these characters as they head down the parade route.

Originally called the Christmas Caravan in the 1930's, the Parade was created to help lift the spirits of residents suffering through the Great Depression. Since then, it has developed into a full-scale spectacle that celebrates the holiday season. What once started out as an attempt to boost Chicago's economy has evolved into a cherished holiday tradition for Chicagoans and Americans alike. The Parade includes performers and special guests representing every part of the country, as well as some international visitors such as the Nuremburg Christkind.

WGN 9 Chicago will air the Parade live and in high definition from 8 to 11 a.m. (CST) on Thursday, November 24. WGN America will also broadcast the Parade nationally, establishing it as one of only three parades in the country to be covered live, in its entirety, on a national television broadcast (along with Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® in New York City, New York and The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA). CLTV will rebroadcast the parade from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Supporting sponsors of the McDonald's® Thanksgiving Parade includes McDonald's® Owner Operators of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, Case New Holland, and MB Financial Bank.

The McDonald's ® Thanksgiving Parade takes place rain or shine, Thursday, November 24, from 8 to 11 a.m., on State Street, in Chicago. For more information about the McDonald's® Thanksgiving Parade, please contact Chicago Festival Association at (312) 239-0457 or log on to

The McDonald's ® Thanksgiving Parade
Today, 8am- 11am
State Street

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