Navigating the Thanksgiving Day Parade

When it comes to parades in Chicago, nothing tops the annual Thanksgiving Parade on State Street. With 110 units featuring everything from Hawaiian fire twirlers to the latest Disney stars, there’s something everyone in the family will enjoy.

“The wonderful thing about this is that we program entertainment for very young kids, for older kids, tweens, teens and adults. I can’t think of a more family-oriented event in Chicago,” says Philip Purevich, executive director of the Chicago Festival Association.

And, while the parade is telecast on TV, if you want to watch the parade live, Purevich recommends finding a spot near the beginning of the parade route where it’s less crowded. He recommends State and Van Buren because the new park gives families a little more room to spread out. No matter where you decide to stand, get there by 7 a.m. or so to get a good spot.

If you want to spring for reserved spots, buy VIP seats for $53.50 at (or enter to win a 4-pack of tickets here). The tickets include bleacher seats in the TV zone in front of Macy’s (State Street between Washington and Randolph), a light continental breakfast and secure washrooms.

The parade runs from 8-11 a.m. Nov. 24. It travels on State Street, beginning at Congress and moving north to Randolph.

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