The Chicago Journal

Chicago Thanksgiving Parade: A Spectacle of Holiday Grandeur Ranks 2nd Nationally

Chicago Thanksgiving Parade
Image Commercially Licensed From: DepositPhotos

With the holiday season on the horizon, Chicago is abuzz with anticipation, especially as the renowned Chicago Thanksgiving Parade approaches. Recently lauded as the second-best Thanksgiving parade in the United States by Time Out, this annual extravaganza, reminiscent of the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, is set to unfold its magic on November 23.

The Prestigious Ranking

The Chicago Thanksgiving Parade’s recent accolade from Time Out, ranking it as the second-best Thanksgiving parade in the nation, adds a layer of prestige to an event already steeped in tradition. The recognition places this parade among the elite, cementing its status as a must-see spectacle.

Chicago Thanksgiving Parade Returning for its 89th Year

As the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade readies for its 89th edition, the city eagerly anticipates the return of this time-honored tradition on November 23. Beyond being a celebration, this parade is a living testament to Chicago’s commitment to spreading joy and festivity throughout the holiday season.

Star-Studded Lineup

Elevating the parade’s allure are co-hosts Jen Lilley and Jesse Hutch, whose charismatic presence promises to guide the audience through a tapestry of magical moments. Noteworthy appearances by HGTV’s Lauren Makk and Chicago’s Poet Laureate avery r. young, coupled with live performances by country artists Reyna Roberts and Tayler Holder, will undoubtedly make this year’s parade a star-studded affair.

A Three-Hour Extravaganza

From 8 a.m., the parade will weave its way from State Street to Ida B. Wells Drive to Randolph Street, treating spectators to a three-hour procession featuring giant balloons, marching bands, dancers, and more. The immersive experience is carefully curated to captivate audiences, promising lasting memories for all who attend.

A Tradition of Memories

Expressing his enthusiasm, Chicago Thanksgiving Parade Foundation executive director Daniel Mulka emphasized the role of the parade in creating enduring memories. Over the years, it has evolved into a vibrant tradition, contributing significantly to Chicago’s unique charm and greatness.

Inclusive Entertainment

The parade’s entertainment segment, scheduled from 8 to 9 a.m., will showcase performances by marching bands representing over 16 high schools and universities. Inclusivity takes center stage with diverse cultural groups, equestrians, and festive floats, adding a dynamic and inclusive touch to the overall experience.

Sponsorship Opportunities

For those seeking an enhanced parade experience, individual sponsorships are available for $70. This exclusive package includes access to a special seating zone in the VIP bleachers, complete with restrooms and refreshments, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable viewing experience.

Event Impact

However, as with any large-scale event, logistical considerations come into play. The area from Roosevelt Road to Wacker Drive and Wells Street to Michigan Avenue will experience parking restrictions and intermittent street closures from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., impacting the surrounding vicinity and requiring careful planning for attendees.


As the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade approaches its 89th year, the city eagerly anticipates not just a parade but a grand celebration that solidifies its standing on the national stage. With its rich history, star-studded lineup, and commitment to creating enduring memories, the parade promises to be a highlight of the holiday season, uniting the community in a shared experience of joy and festivity.