Flaunting kooky animal floats, high-kicking dancers, giant helium balloons and marching bands, Chicago’s famous Thanksgiving Parade is a family-friendly celebration of the USA’s big day. LUXE shows you where to watch the whole shebang... and where to go afterwards to warm up!
Created in 1934 to lift spirits during the Great Depression, the procession was originally called the Christmas Caravan in the 1930s. Today’s spectacle boasts 5,000 performers, including basketball stars the Harlem Globetrotters, miniature horses and Hawaiian dancers.
Turn up pronto to get a top spot for the free Parade, which runs from 8am to 11am on Thanksgiving morning (24 Nov) – eager beavers rock up from 6am. The route takes over State Street for a mile, starting at Congress Parkway and moving north to Randolph Street. The corner of State and Adams offers a less crowded vantage point. Dress snugly, as Chi-Town gets nippy, then warm up at heritage-chic nearby restaurant Cherry Circle Room with a hearty prix-fixe Thanksgiving menu (book ahead!). The Peninsula’s eateries are also serving fab festive specials.
Alternatively, work up an appetite by joining Chicago's longest "running" Thanksgiving tradition, the Turkey Day Run (aka Turkey Trot), with 5K or 8K races, starting at 9am, in Lincoln Park along the scenic shores of Lake Michigan. Gather your flock and dress up for the dash, before taking part in Turkey Bowling and sipping warm apple cider. Give thanks!
Thu 24 Nov, 2016.
McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade / State St (between Congress Pkwy & Randolph St) / The Loop / 8am-11am / chicagofestivals.org
Cherry Circle Room / 2/F / 12 S Michigan Ave / The Loop / +1 312 792 3515 / 7am-2.30pm & 5-11pm daily / lasdatcaa.com
Turkey Day Run / Diversey Harbor / Lincoln Park / 7am-noon / turkeyday-5k.com