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Philadelphia's Thanksgiving Parade

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends; Siblings come home from college for a few days, cousins come to visit from other states, and students get a well-deserved break from school. Every year in Philadelphia there is a Thanksgiving Day parade. The parade is full of fun Thanksgiving floats, dancers, marching bands, and much more. Many families wake up to attend this annual event.

This year, the parade occurred on November 24, 2022, and was the 103rd Thanksgiving Parade in Philadelphia. The parade starts at 20th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard and ends around the Art Museum. Many balloons and floats of characters are present. This year featured Smurfette, Peppa Pig, Alma, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bugs Bunny, and more. The parade also included many high school marching bands and color guards.

The Philly Thanksgiving Parade started in 1920 and is the oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country. It was created by the Gimbels department store, but after Gimbels closed in 1986, the parade became sponsored by Boscov’s. They renamed the parade 6abc Boscov’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 2008, Boscov’s filed for bankruptcy, so IKEA sponsored the parade. Then, in 2011, Dunkin Donuts announced they would be the sponsor. They have held sponsorship since then, and the parade has since been referred to as the 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade.

6abc Dunkin’ Donuts also organizes a holiday food drive. They partner with the Boy Scouts of America to collect food from around the nation and donate it to those in need, donating boxes and bags of food to residents’ houses and local stores in the region and then distributing them to those in need for Thanksgiving. At the parade, the Boy Scouts walk around and collect food and donations from spectators. Earnings from the food drive currently go to Philabundance, a nonprofit food bank located in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley region of Pennsylvania.

Although the Philadelphia Parade is the original Thanksgiving Day Parade, there is also a well-known parade in New York City, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The New York parade is larger compared to the one in Philadelphia. The parade contains fewer local elements and is more widespread, like the University of Missouri cheerleaders who were featured this year. Although it still includes some local aspects, the Macy’s Parade is more commercialized around the country and not specifically connected to New York.

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