Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade marched down State Street

CHICAGO (WLS) -- State Street was crowded Thursday morning, and filled with the sights and sounds of a holiday tradition that many look forward to every year.

The Uncle Dan's Thanksgiving Parade featured marching bands, festive floats, cultural groups and much more.

Allainah Cronje came from West Chicago to watch the parade.

"Mostly because you get free candy because it's fun," she said.

"I liked the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have watched it for so many years since 4th grade and this is my second time going," said Jayson Hallberg, from Berwyn.

The parade marched down State Street from Congress Parkway all the way to Randolph Street between 8-11 a.m.

The Grand Marshal for this year's parade was Bugs Bunny and the parade featured performances by Miss Saigon, Cirque Dreams, Waistwatchers the Musical!, City of Zurich Police Band, The Harlem Globetrotters and more. There were also be giant balloons, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Fred Flintsone.

Salt trucks served as barricades as officers kept watch of thousands of people along State Street, bundled up and trying to stay warm with temperatures hovering in the low 30s. The conditions were tough for Cindy Lowe, a spectator from a warmer climate.

"I was wearing shorts last week so several layers of thermal underwear, rocking the big girl socks now," said Lowe, who is from Georgia.

Parades in New York and Philadelphia almost came to a halt because of record low temperatures and gusty winds.

Chicagoans were thankful that the State Street parade stepped off without incident and for other things.

"I am grateful that I got accepted to Columbia College Chicago," Hallberg said.

"I am thankful for still having my health and my job," said Juan Hernandez, another parade spectator.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.