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Thursday, December 5

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Event Tue Nov 26 2013

McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade: Celebrating 80 Years in Chicago

Chicago is a parade kind of town, and as we embark upon another holiday season, one of the biggest and highly anticipated parades, the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade, returns for its 80th year.

This all ages, family-friendly event is indeed a Chicago holiday tradition; each year, thousands of parade-goers line up along State Street to view the best in marching bands, choirs, floats, popular character balloons, celebrity guests and more, all celebrating the holidays.

Lowndes High School Marching Band.jpg

In the 1930s, the parade was originally called the "Christmas Caravan"; it was created in 1934 as a way to raise the spirits and those who suffered through the Great Depression. Over the years, it has evolved into one of Chicago's biggest and most anticipated events of holiday season.

This year, the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade grand marshal is Chicago native, singer and actress Drew Sidora. Sidora, whose filmography includes White Chicks, Wild Hogs, and television's "The Game," recently starred as Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins in the top-rated VH1 biopic, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.

The parade has always boasted diverse, cultural attractions; this year, staged performances by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, The Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker, a performance of Jackie Taylor's and the Black Ensemble Theater's The Story of Curtis Mayfield, Emerald City Theatre's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the cast of the hit Chicago musical Million Dollar Quartet, and others, will entertain parade attendees.

Other parade highlights include spectacular floats by Chicago's Ensemble Espa├▒ol Center for Spanish Dance and Music, the Von Heidecke Chicago Festival Ballet, Christkindlmarket Chicago and others; specialty performance units that include the Chicago Spirit Brigade and Chicago Human Rhythm Project; and for the kid in everyone, giant balloons of characters like Curious George, Arthur, Pac-Man and more.

The 2013 McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade takes place live on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 28, from 8am-11am on State Street, between Congress Pkwy and Randolph Street; if you're still preparing Thanksgiving dinner and are unable to head to the Loop, tune in to the broadcast on WGN-TV Channel 9.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo courtesy of Chicago Festival Association.

 
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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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