Update: for 2015, the parade runs from at 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM and runs on State Street, beginning at Congress and moving northbound to Randolph. Book your downtown Chicago parking in advance. For more information on the parade this year, check out the official site.
Where is the parade?
The Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 8:00 am at the intersection of State Street and Congress Parkway, it runs down State Street ending at 11:00 am at the intersection of State Street and Randolph. This parade has everything to put a smile on anyone’s face including; giant helium balloons, various equestrian units, a huge array of floats, honorary guests like Ronald McDonald, The Harlem Globetrotters, and Santa and Mrs. Clause. Outside of those you will also see marching bands from high school all over the Chicagoland area as well as staged performances.
Where to park?
If you are driving in to Chicago for the parade, chances are you are not looking forward to searching for a parking spot. Reserve your parking ahead of time. This event is projected to attract over 400,000 spectators, crammed on a short span of the city, this will be a congested event. Street parking around the parade will be rare to come across as well given road closures as well as temporary towing zones. SpotHero can help you by allowing you to make a parking reservation ahead of time all over the city.
History of The Thanksgiving Day Parade
In 1934 the President of the State Street Council created a caravan to stimulate development in the economy that displayed toys from stores along State street. Fast forward over 75 years to 2012 and the Parade is still an extremely popular destination for many all across the Chicagoland area.
Chicago Festivals has an in depth description about the parade with a complete list of who is participating in the event as well as more information about the sponsors.
About.com provides a great guide to this event if you are coming in from the suburbs.
Concierge Preferred shows you things to do for the parade as well as beyond the parade.