Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade
The oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country
Date & Time
Thursday, November 24, 2016
8:30 a.m. – noon
The 1.4-mile 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade is the oldest Thanksgiving parade 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 97th 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, often featuring kid-favorited characters including a special visit from Santa. This year, look forward to floats that range from a pirate ship to a special tribute to liberty and gargantuan balloons that include Tweety Bird, Olivia the pig, the Tazmanian Devil, Cat in the Hat, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Curious George, The Grinch, Mr. Potato Head and more.
The annual parade features appearances from special guests and performers from around the region and beyond. Look forward to performances from local choirs, recording artists, dance groups and more.
Featured guests this year also include Mickey and Minnie, Disney’s newest princess Elena of Avalor, several members of the “Toy Story” cast from Disney on Ice, characters from the upcoming “Mamma Mia!,” “The King and I” and “Dirty Dancing” productions at the Kimmel Center, “Wizard of Oz” characters from the Walnut Street Theatre performance and Ginger Zee from Good Morning America. Musical guests Drew Lachey from former-98 Degrees and R&B singer Estelle will also be in attendance.
Photo Tour: Top 10 Reasons to See the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade in Person
Check out our photo tour of the Thanksgiving Day Parade to see why it’s more than worth it to bundle up, grab the kids or a group of friends and head out for an early holiday treat.
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.
3. Other locations along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, like Logan Circle, are also good bets.
4. 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. Check out hotel rates at Center City hotels for Wednesday night here.
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 Christmas Light Show, the Love Park Christmas Village, the Rittenhouse Square Tree Lighting and more. Rates on Thursday night at Center City hotels are available here.
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.
- Embassy Suites Center City
- Sheraton Philadelphia City Center
- The Windsor Suites Philadelphia
- Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia
- Le Meridien Philadelphia
- Best Western Center City
- The Logan
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.
Thanksgiving Week in Philadelphia
To learn about all of the fun things to do surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday in Philadelphia, click the button below.
In the neighborhood
99 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
- Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
- The Warwick Hotel
Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia
- Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel
- Rittenhouse 1715, A Boutique Hotel
- The Windsor Suites Philadelphia
- AKA Rittenhouse Square
- Sofitel Philadelphia
- The Inn at Penn, A Hilton Hotel
- View more hotels
Museums & Attractions
18th and Walnut Streets Center Fountain Philadelphia, PA 19103
- The Barnes Foundation
- The Comcast Center
- Opera Philadelphia
- Henry J. Cadbury Library
- Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
- Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
- Mütter Museum
- Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining