CHICAGO, June 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade celebrates 83 years of holiday tradition with giant helium balloons, magnificent marching bands, majestic equestrian units and marvelous performance groups representing the best talent in Chicago and across the country. The parade is the second largest Thanksgiving parade in the nation with hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the streets of Chicago to see the spectacle in person. The parade is broadcast live for three hours nationally on WGN America and locally on WGN 9 Chicago. The 2016 McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade takes place LIVE on State Street between Congress Parkway and Randolph Street in downtown Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24 from 8 to 11 a.m. (CST).
Originally called the Christmas Caravan in the 1930s, the Parade was created in 1934 to help lift the spirits of residents suffering though the Great Depression. Since then, it has developed into a full-scale spectacle celebrating the holiday season. What once started out as an attempt to boost Chicago's economy has evolved into a cherished tradition for Chicagoans and Americans alike. The Parade includes performers and special guests representing every part of the country as well as representing many cultures from around the world. Over 20 different cultures were represented in the 2015 parade.
The parade's line-up includes over 100 diverse units, including Honorary Grand Marshal Ronald McDonald, the parade's loveable mascot, Teddy Turkey, the Harlem Globetrotters and of course, Santa Claus. This year's parade will feature performances from the world-renowned Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, the exhilarating Black Ensemble Theater, the pitch-perfect Apollo Chorus of Chicago, an intense performance by Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament and a show stopping performance by the Texas State University Strutters. Crowd favorites such as the Jesse White Tumblers, The Barefoot Hawaiian and the Chicago Human Rhythm Project will make this a show one not to be missed!
McDonald's Owner/Operators of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, the title sponsor of the parade, will also present the McDonald's Community Fire Truck, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in partnership with Advocate Children's Hospital, and Ronald McDonald and his Big Red Shoe. Sheraton Grand Chicago is the official hotel of the parade. Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago, celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, will be presenting live cooking segments during the parade broadcast. Other sponsors include Chicago Blackhawks, Mercedes-Benz of Chicago, and RE/MAX.
Additional information about the 2016 line-up and special guests will be announced after Labor Day. For more information, visit our website at www.chicagofestivals.org. Find us on social media with our Twitter and Instagram handle, @TeddyTurkey, and on our Facebook page, McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.
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SOURCE Chicago Festival Association