CHICAGO, Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- This Thanksgiving Day, Chrysler Group vehicles will drive dignitaries, floats and even Santa down State Street as part of the 79th McDonald's® Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Chicago. The parade officially runs from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. (CST) on Thursday, November 22.
"Getting the opportunity to share in this time-honored Thanksgiving Day tradition is a real privilege for the Chrysler Group," said Jeff Kommor, Chrysler Midwest Business Center Director. "We are especially excited to see Santa increase the power of his ride from eight reindeer to the HEMI® V-8 engine in the Dodge Durango, which will pull his sleigh this year."
Chrysler Group is the official automotive sponsor of this year's McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago, providing 29 vehicles to support the parade and its organizers. The award-winning all-new 2013 Ram 1500 pick-up truck, Dodge Durango and Jeep® Grand Cherokee will use their class-leading towing capabilities to pull the many floats featured in the parade. In addition, parade celebrities and dignitaries will enjoy the view of State Street from the back of Chrysler 200 convertibles, Fiat 500 Cabrios and Jeep Wranglers.
"We're honored to have Chrysler Group on board for the second year as the official automotive sponsor of the 2012 McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade," said Phil Purevich, Executive Director of the Chicago Festival Association that produces the parade. "Chrysler is generously providing vehicles for our use, including transportation for many staff and volunteers working hard to make this event happen."
In addition to the parade vehicles, Chrysler Group will have an official parade entry featuring one vehicle from each of the company's brands: the metro-Chicago-built Dodge Dart, a Fiat 500 Abarth, a Jeep Wrangler, a Chrysler 300S, a 2013 Ram 1500 and the brand new 2013 SRT Viper.
Chicago native and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE®) Superstar CM Punk® will serve as Official Grand Marshal, joined by special guest Jaslene Gonzalez, winner of America's Next Top Model Cycle 8. Along with these celebrities, this year's lineup includes 100 diverse and remarkable group performances, including the high-energy Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents Dragons group and the always popular Joffrey Ballet, plus 12 balloons including Arthur, Cornucopia, Curious George, Gingerbread Man, Mighty Mouse, Mr. Potato Head, Odie, Paddington Bear, Peter the Penguin, Pilgrim Garfield and Woody Woodpecker, as well as the premiere of new Tom and Jerry balloons. The parade also features top marching bands from all over the country, including Lowndes High School (Georgia), Citrus High School (Florida) and Boardman High School (Ohio), performances from Waukegan High School, Proviso East High School and Marist High School and marching horse groups Wells Fargo Stagecoach, Ray of Hope Riders and Bertrand's Miniature Horses.
WGN 9 Chicago will air the Parade live and in high definition from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. (CST) on Thursday, November 22. WGN America also will broadcast the parade nationally, establishing it as one of only three parades in the country to be covered live, in its entirety, on a national television broadcast. CLTV will rebroadcast the parade from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m that day.
About Chicago Festival Association
The Chicago Festival Association is a non-profit organization with the mission of producing community events that positively impact the people of the city of Chicago, our guests and visitors. With a full-time staff augmented by more than 1,000 hard-working volunteers, the Chicago Festival Association strives to ensure the best in free family entertainment for the millions of spectators in Chicago and across the nation.
The McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade takes place rain or shine, Thursday, November 22, from 8 to 11 a.m., on State Street from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street in Chicago. For more information about the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade, please contact Chicago Festival Association at (312) 239-0457 or log on to www.chicagofestivals.org.
About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler, all-new Dodge Dart, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Fiat 500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.
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SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC