United States: Top 10 Thanksgiving Day Parades

Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday of November. It can fall as early as 23 November and as late as 29 November. It is falling on 24 November in 2022.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Holidays + Festivals

Most Americans think of Thanksgiving as the unofficial beginning of the Holiday Season.

While not an official holiday, the day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday. This is reputedly the busiest shopping day of the year. It is also the first day of the year that most stores turn a profit, meaning that businesses are now in the black.

Thanksgiving is a day of family reunions, with large turkey dinners followed by pumpkin pie and ice cream. Many cities also have parades to celebrate what is arguably the second most important holiday of the year in the United States after Christmas.

A look at the Top 10 Thanksgiving Day Parades in the United States follows.

Top 10 Thanksgiving Day Parades

New York, New York – The Big Apple’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the biggest and the most famous. Debuting in 1924, it was creating by department store employees to draw attention to their store and encourage Christmas shopping. It features marching bands, colourful floats, and giant helium filled balloons of cartoon characters. It is broadcast on national television.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the United States, the parade in Philadelphia dates back to 1920. It has undergone several name changes over the years, and is currently known as the Dunkin Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is also broadcast on national television.

Chicago, Illinois – Dating back to 1934, Chicago’s McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was broadcast nationally for the first time in 2008.

St Louis, Missouri – Now in its 27th year, the Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade features a battle of the bands .

Charlotte, South Carolina – Known as the Carolinas’ Carrousel Parade, it dates back to 1947.

Houston, Texas – The H-E-B Holiday Parade dates back more than 60 years. It is broadcast throughout Texas and the neighboring states of Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Detroit, Michigan – America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the oldest in the country.

Washington, DC – There are no Thanksgiving Day parades in the nation’s capital itself, but there will be a few small parades in the metropolitan area. Included are parades in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Reston, Virginia.

Seattle, Washington – Perhaps knowing that it can’t compete with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the two other parades that are broadcast on national television, Seattle’s Holiday Parade is held the following day on Black Friday.

Plymouth, Massachusetts – Considering that Thanksgiving celebrates the sharing of a harvest between the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians in 1621, the America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Day Parade in Plymouth should surely be considered last but not least. A relative newcomer, it is now in its 13th year.  


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