Thousands are expected to line State Street in the Loop to mark the 88th anniversary of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Nearly 100 Parade participants are expected this year, including the United States Army 1st Infantry Division, top marching bands from 16 high schools and universities, 29 colorful multi-cultural groups representing Chicago’s neighborhoods, 10 festive floats, five equestrian groups, and six character balloons, as well as over a thousand volunteers.
From Ida B. Wells Drive to Randolph, the parade will travel north on State Street.
“We’ve got a couple new partners this year, we’ll have a NASCAR float,” said Ashley Berry, a parade volunteer and street host. “Everyone is constantly inquiring about the balloons. We do have some balloons, which are cold air balloons with some crowd pleasers. Scooby Doo will be joined by Fred Flintstone and Felix the Cat.”
Sterling Silver Group from Wisconsin will perform dances as well as fire baton twirlers.
“We started preparing this particular production at the end of August this year and we had our final rehearsal on Monday and we hopped on a bus yesterday morning at 4 a.m. to get here,” Sterling Silver Studio owner Carolyn Nelson-Kavajecz said.
The parade begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. From 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be street closures and parking restrictions. You are strongly encouraged to take public transportation.