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Chicago Thanksgiving Parade 2011

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Chicago Thanksgiving Parade

Chicago Thanksgiving Parade © Chicago Festivals Association

Chicago's McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Brief:

Chicago's Thanksgiving Parade kicks off at 8:30 a.m. on November 24, 2011 and features giant inflatables, marching bands, dancers and more.

Where:

State Street from Congress to Randolph

When:

Thursday, November 24, 2011 (Thanksgiving Day)

Time:

8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Admission:

FREE!

Getting to the Parade by Public Transportation:

CTA Red Line subway to any stop along the parade route -- Jackson, Monroe or Washington stops. Alternately, CTA Brown/Orange/Green line to the Library/State/Van Buren stop.

About the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade:

Hey, New York isn't the only one with a Thanksgiving Day parade. Chicago puts on its own pretty great turkey day spectacular, thank you very much, and has done so since 1934. The State Street Thanksgiving Parade is attended by over 400,000 spectators and features over 100 participating "units", including marching bands, floats, horses, drill teams, circus performers, and more.

The parade also features huge character balloons, some topping out at 50 feet tall. Previous years' cast of balloon characters have included Elmo, the Pink Panther, the Cookie Monster, Popeye, Kermit the Frog, Bear in the Big Blue House, Strawberry Shortcake, Tom Turkey, Rudolph, The Nutcracker, Big Bird, Animal and Billy Blazes. Trust me that the people holding on to the long ropes tethering the balloons hope that the Windy City does not live up to its name on that day...

So if you're fretting being in Chicago instead of NYC on Thanksgiving, head on down to the State Street Thanksgiving Parade, stand in front of the Macy's, and you'll never know the difference.

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