How to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Philly

thanksgivig parade

There are many ways to mark the Thanksgiving holiday near your Edgewater apartment: enjoying dinner at one of the area’s many restaurants, volunteering in a soup kitchen or even just resting up for your marathon Black Friday shopping. But one of the most exciting Thanksgiving events in the nation takes place just blocks from your Edgewater apartment, so you don’t want to miss out!

The annual 6ABC/Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off Nov. 22 from 20th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, a half-mile from your Edgewater apartment. The event features live music, performers, some famous faces, giveaways and much more, attracting thousands each year. Spectators span every possible age range, with many locals building the parade into their annual holiday traditions, or else inviting out-of-town family to the event to show them that Philly knows how to put on a parade.

And the organizers of the Thanksgiving Day parade certainly know how to throw quite the party, as evidenced by the event’s longevity, with this year marking the 98th parade. In fact, Philly’s Thanksgiving parade is the oldest in the nation and has been used as a model for countless other cities’ community celebrations.

So just what can you find at the parade? Just about everything! Thousands of performers from around the country participate each year, including in marching bands, dance troupes, singing groups and more. Larger-than-life balloons are another common sights, with everything from classic cartoon characters to modern movie figures being represented. The parade welcomes local and national newscasters, singers, sports figures and many more, who interact with spectators along the parade route.

The 1.4-mile route heads from JFK Boulevard to 16th Street and over to Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where it winds past Logan Circle and finishes up at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. With a backdrop of the famous “Rocky” steps, thousands of participants take their turns performing, finishing up with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus to kick off Philly’s holiday season.

While the event is festive in nature, it’s also a time to remember those in need. Hundreds of Boy Scouts will walk the parade route to collect canned goods that they will then donate to help feed locals this holiday season.

Whether the parade is a longstanding tradition or this will be your first year there, it’s a great opportunity to make some memories at one of Philly’s favorite annual events.