Get Ready for the 2016 Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade!


The 97th annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade is a great local alternative to Macy's celebration.

When one thinks of Thanksgiving and parades, it’s natural to think of the annual spectacle thrown by Macy’s that marches through the streets of New York City and is televised live to viewers all around the country. Those who live in the City of Brotherly Love know, however, that Philadelphia also has a Thanksgiving parade… and it’s actually the oldest one in the country. The Philadelphia 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade has been around since 1920. It was originally put on by Gimbels Department Store. And now, the parade is celebrating its 97th year.


The 97th annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade is a great local alternative to Macy’s celebration. (Matt Rourke, Associated Press)

The parade kicks off at 8:30 a.m. next Thursday, November 24th, which is Thanksgiving Day. According to Penn Live, “The parade steps off at 20th Street and JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia. It then marches towards 16th Street, where it turns left before turning left again onto Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It then follows the Parkway all the way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it ends. The total route is 1.4 miles long.”

According to the site, you should claim your viewing spot early for the best vantage point. Some recommendations: the A.C. Moore Parade Zone in the Eakins Oval, where there will be live music and family-friendly celebrations near the end of the parade’s route. There will be vendors selling warm drinks to keep you toasty while you watch. Another viewing spot is Love Park, which is elevated enough to ensure that you have a great view. It also boasts proximity to Dilworth Park, which will be having ice skating and other fun activities going on.

Who and what will you be seeing? Parade balloons include “Tweety Bird, Olivia the pig, the Tazmanian Devil, Cat in the Hat, a T-Rex, Curious George, The Grinch, Mr. Potato Head and more.” There will also be an assortment of floats. And you can bet that you’ll be seeing the man of the hour – yes, Santa Claus is scheduled to appear!