PHILADELPHIA - As with most major events in the city, the Thanksgiving Day Parade has a rich history. The parade has been a traditional part of Thanksgiving for over 100 years and has won numerous awards. — and it's back in person on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway after 2020's virtual celebration.
Philadelphia's Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the city's most famous events. The tradition started in 1920 when Gimbels department store sponsored its first Thanksgiving Day parade. At the time, the parade featured costumed employees, celebrities, and other notable figures. The tradition continued into World War II and has since been celebrated as the city's beginning of the holiday season.
The city's Thanksgiving Day Parade was founded in the 1920s and featured a wide variety of performers, marching bands, and balloons. The parade was initially created by Gimbel, but in the late 1980s, WPVI-TV/6abc took over the production. Despite its popularity, the Gimbels closed its doors in 1986, and the event was renamed. This holiday parade continues to draw a large crowd and is a traditional part of the city's festive season.
The live parade last year was canceled due to the COVID-19. During the pandemic, many communities were forced to cancel their annual parades. Fortunately, the event is back this year, starting on November 25, 2021, at 8:30 a.m., with a 30-minute preview show followed by about three hours of parade and performance time.
The event this year is considered a resounding symbol of the return to everyday life after the devastating storm. In addition to the parade, artists and musicians will also be in town as the Philadelphia Holiday Celebrations kick-off.