Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade
The oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the country
Date & Time
Thursday, November 28, 2013
The parade broadcast begins at 8:30 a.m and ends at approximately 12 noon.
The 1.4-mile 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade is the oldest in the country and a true Philadelphia tradition. The city streets make way for massive floats and giant balloons, plus local performers from choirs, dance groups, marching bands and more. And Santa himself arrives in grand fashion, ushering Philadelphia into the holiday season.
Now in its 94th year, the annual Thanksgiving Day parade promises another visual and celebratory feast. So bundle up, grab the kids or a group of friends and head out for an early holiday treat.
Floats and Balloons
The eye-catching highlight of the Thanksgiving Day Parade are the festive floats and massive balloons. The decorative floats come in all shapes and sizes including the patriotic Dunkin’ Donuts opening float, the Campbell’s Thanksgiving Harvest float, Verizon’s colorful Under the Sea float and, of course, a special visit from Santa.
Some balloons to look out for include: My Little Pony, “Plex” from Yo Gabba Gabba, Strawberry Shortcake, Clifford the Big Red Dog and beloved Dr. Suess characters the Cat in the Hat, Horton, the Lorax and the Grinch.
Interactive Map of Parade Route
To help you plan your visit, we created a new interactive map of the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade complete with suggested top spots to watch plotted along the parade route.
1. Start point: 20th Street and JFK Boulevard. From there, the parade proceeds east on JFK Boulevard to 16th Street.
2. The Parade turns left onto 16th Street until reaching the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
4. The Parade bears right, going northwest on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for three blocks until reaching Logan Circle.
5. The Parade loops around the southern part of Logan Circle and then continues on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway until it reaches Eakins Oval.
6. The Parade proceeds along the south portion of Eakins Oval finishing in front of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Best Places to Watch
1. One of the best places to watch is at the parade’s finish at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
2. The south side of Eakins Oval (in front of the Art Museum) is also recommended. Campbell’s Soup sponsors a tent there where there’s hot food, warm drinks and entertainment for kids.
3. Other locations along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, like Logan Circle, are also good bets.
4. You can also watch the parade begin at 20th and JFK Boulevard and then take a shortcut on foot heading north on 20th Street five blocks to the Parkway and catch the parade again as it goes by. If you need to warm up, head to the nearby Comcast Building and catch the Comcast Holiday Spectacular on the massive Comcast Experience Video Wall.
Sleep Over In A Hotel
Stay downtown on Wednesday night so you can wake up and be right next to the parade. Hotel rates at Center City hotels start at just $79 on Wednesday night(!). Or stay downtown on Thursday night and you’ll be perfectly positioned to kick off the holiday shopping season on Friday in Center City Philadelphia with a visit to the Macy’s Holiday Light Show, the Love Park Christmas Village, the Rittenhouse Square Tree Lighting and more. Rates on Thursday night at Center City hotels start as low as $95.
Closest Hotels To The Parade Route
Getting to the parade early is key if you want to get a great spot to watch. One of the best ways to get to the parade early: stay downtown on Wednesday night at a hotel close to the parade route so you’ll wake up right next to the parade on Thursday morning.
1. The Four Seasons Philadelphia
2. Embassy Suites Center City
3. Sheraton Philadelphia City Center
4. The Windsor Suites Philadelphia
5. Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia
6. Le Meridien Philadelphia
7. Best Western Center City
Book The Philly Overnight Hotel Package
Another option is to book the Philly Overnight® Hotel Package which includes two nights accommodations — so come for Wednesday and Thursday nights or Thursday and Friday nights, etc. — and your car stays FREE. With free hotel parking included in the price of the package, you’re getting $75+ in added value over your two-night stay. Click the button below to check rates at participating hotels.
Bring The Kids
The parade thrills with an entourage of popular characters from Sesame Street and Disney in floats and giant balloons. And Santa himself arrives in grand fashion, ushering Philadelphia into the holiday season.
This year’s parade promises to be nothing short of a visual and celebratory feast. So bundle up, grab the kids and head out for an early holiday treat.
Warm up in the Campbell’s Winter Wonderland Expo Tent with some hot cocoa and family-friendly activities. Be sure to look out for special guests and giveaways.
Another facet of 6abc and Dunkin’ Donuts partnership is a Holiday Food Drive you can contribute to in a number of ways. Parade goers are urged to gather their cans, and toss them into provided carts as Boy Scouts and Campbell Soup Company volunteers wind their way along the parade route.
Looking to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast without worrying about all the cooking and cleaning up? If you plan to spend the morning at the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, consider finishing your big day with a delicious Thanksgiving meal at one of Philadelphia’s best restaurants.
Let the pros take care of all the cooking and cleaning, and you still get to take care of the best part: the eating(!).
Dating back to 1920, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade is the nation’s oldest. Each year it announces the arrival of the holiday season with beautiful floats, marching bands, musical guests, dance teams and ample amounts of cheer.
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20th and Market Streets
Starting point; parade route then runs along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
In the neighborhood
135 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
- Embassy Suites Philadelphia – Center City
- The Windsor Suites Philadelphia
- Rittenhouse 1715, A Boutique Hotel
- Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
- Four Seasons Philadelphia
- Sofitel Philadelphia
- Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel Philadelphia
- The Westin Philadelphia
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Museums & Attractions
480 S. Broad Street Suzanne Roberts Theatre Philadelphia, PA 19146
- The Wilma Theater
- The Comcast Experience HD Video Wall – Comcast Center
- Center City District Sips
- Mütter Museum
- Prince Music Theater
- Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
- Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
- The Comcast Center
- Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining
1701 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Capriccio at Cafe Cret
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