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A large turkey float at the Thanksgiving Day Parade Chicago
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Chicago Thanksgiving Parade 2023: Start time, route and best places to watch

Everything you need to know about the annual downtown procession.

Jeffy Mai
Written by
Jeffy Mai

Families across the country will gather on Thursday for Thanksgiving dinner and awkward conversations at the table. But before that happens, the Chicago Thanksgiving parade will step off downtown. The 89th edition of the annual tradition will see the return of giant helium balloons, including characters like Garfield, Rudolph and the Grinch, as well as marching bands from over 16 high schools and universities, cultural performance groups, equestrian units and more. This year’s parade will be co-hosted by actors Jen Lilley and Jesse Hutch. Here’s everything you need to know.

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What time does the 2023 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade start?

The parade is scheduled to kick off at 8am and run until 11am.

What is the parade route?

The procession will start at Ida B. Wells Drive and makes its way north on State Street, ending at Randolph Street.

Where is the best place to watch?

The best spots to catch the action will be along the east and west ends of State Street. You can also purchase a VIP ticket to watch the parade from a special area (111 N State St) with bleacher seating.

What streets will be closed for the parade?

The area from Roosevelt Road to Wacker Drive and Wells Street to Michigan Avenue will be closed between approximately 5am and 2pm.

How can I watch the parade on TV?

The parade will be broadcast live on CW26 and Pluto TV, a free streaming service.

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