Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade
The oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the country is in Philadelphia
Date & Time
Thursday, November 22, 2012
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.
This year’s 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.
Some balloons to look out for include: Cookie Monster, Scooby Doo, Elmo, Hungry Caterpillar, The Lorax, Frosty the Snowman and T-Rex. Floats this year include Disney Magic Kingdom, a Thanksgiving Harvest-themed float, a music-themed float and, of course, Santa on his sleigh.
This year’s special musical guests include American Idol finalist Justin Guarini, Frenchie Davis from The Voice, the 90s R&B singers of “I Swear” and “I Can Love You Like That” All-4-One, two-time Grammy Winner Rita Coolidge, Kristen Alderson from General Hospital, Charlie McDermott of ABC’s The Middle, country singer Charlie Worsham, Disney Channel singer Coco Jones, Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler, Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies and more.
Interactive Map of Parade Route
Click here for our interactive map of the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade and our top spots to watch.
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.
Another tip: stay downtown on Wednesday night so you’ll wake up right next to the parade.
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
Also, you can book the Philly Overnight® Hotel Package and save $75+ over two nights since it comes with free parking.
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.
You can warm up in the Campbell’s Winter Wonderland Expo Tent with some hot cocoa and 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.
Official Parade Website
If you are looking to eat out for the holiday, check out our Top Restaurants Serving Thanksgiving Dinner.
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
1421 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
- The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia
- Embassy Suites Philadelphia – Center City
- Residence Inn Philadelphia Center City
- Four Seasons Philadelphia
- Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
- Best Western Center City Hotel
- The Windsor Suites Philadelphia
- View more hotels
Museums & Attractions
2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19130
- Sister Cities Park
- Cathedral Basilica of
Saints Peter and Paul
- CityPASS Philadelphia
- The Comcast Center
- Aero Memorial
- All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors
- Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
at the Franklin Institute
- “Great and Mighty Things”: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection
- Made In America Music Festival
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining
1701 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Capriccio at Cafe Cret
- View more Restuarants & Dining