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Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

The oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 1.4-mile 6ABC Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade is the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country and a true Philadelphia tradition. Credit: M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia


Date & Time
Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, November 23, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 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 98th 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, Balloons and Special Guests

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. Last year’s event including everything from a float designed as a pirate ship to gargantuan balloons featuring Tweety Bird, Cat in the Hat, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Curious George, The Grinch, Mr. Potato Head and more.

The annual parade also 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.

Stay tuned for details about this year’s parade as they’re released.

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.

Where to Watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade

Sleep Over In A Hotel

Stay downtown on Wednesday night so you can wake up and be right next to the parade on Thursday. Check out hotel rates at Center City hotels for Wednesday night here.

Choose to stay overnight after the parade on Thursday and you’ll be perfectly positioned to kick off the holiday shopping season on Friday in Center City Philadelphia. Visit the Macy’s Christmas Light Show, Christmas Village and more. Rates on Thursday night at Center City hotels are available here.

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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. The following hotels are close to all of the action:

  1. Embassy Suites Center City
  2. Sheraton Philadelphia City Center
  3. The Windsor Suites Philadelphia
  4. Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia
  5. Le Meridien Philadelphia
  6. The Logan

Book The Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Another option is to book the Philly Overnight® Hotel Package which includes free hotel parking and two of Philadelphia’s Historic District Passes (a value of more than $70!).

Click the button below to check rates at participating hotels.

More about The Philly Overnight Hotel Package

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