The Chicago Thanksgiving Parade Celebrates 89 Years of Entertaining Families Across the City and Country with Marching Bands, Giant Balloons, Festive Floats, Staged Performances and Equestrian Units

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The award-winning and iconic Chicago Thanksgiving Parade returns on Thursday, November 23, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. CT, traveling up Chicagos legendary State Street from Ida B. Wells Drive to Randolph Street featuring the return of the beloved giant balloons. This free family tradition, now in its 89th year, joyfully showcases the best talent from across the nation, featuring the countrys top marching bands, including Tennessee State University, Minnesota State University, and Marist High School, festive floats, staged performances, equestrian units, cultural performance troupes, and inflatables, all led by celebrity hosts and a special visitor from the North Poleoffering a celebration with jolly sights and sounds for attendees of all ages. This years Parade will be co-hosted by actors Jen Lilley (Days of Our Lives, B&B Merry, Paris Christmas Waltz) and Jesse Hutch (Batwoman, B&B Merry, Blessings of Christmas). There will also be special appearances by HGTVs Lauren Makk and Chicagos Poet Laureate avery r. young. A highlight of the 2023 parade will be performances by country musics Reyna Roberts and Tayler Holder.

We are absolutely thrilled to create a long-lasting memory for all generations, one that is a tradition for so many people attending and watching from home. Our Chicago Thanksgiving Parade has become through the years a vibrant event that is an integral piece of what makes our city so great and unique, said Daniel Mulka, Executive Director of the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade Foundation.

Pluto TV will live stream this years parade. As a pioneer of FAST, Pluto TVs signature style of curation, with hundreds of channels and categories programmed daily, is a known catalyst that sparked acceleration and fandom around free, ad-supported streaming television. The service curates a diverse lineup of channels, in partnership with over 400 international media companies, offering a wide array of genres, languages and categories featuring movies, television series, sports, news, lifestyle, kids and much more. Pluto TV can be easily accessed anywhere you stream – across all major mobile, web and connected TV devices.

Pluto TV is honored to bring the parade to audiences across the country on our Pluto TV Christmas channel alongside an abundance of holiday content, said Scott Reich, Senior Vice President of Programming at Pluto TV. The Chicago Thanksgiving Parade provides a magical kickoff to the holiday season.

For those seeking an extra-special experience, the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade offers VIP seating providing the best view of the Parade and the opportunity to enjoy the staged-for-TV performances right before their eyes, in addition to the forward-motion parade. Tickets for VIP access to the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade are $70 and available for purchase at

Jen Lilley expresses her excitement for hosting: I am absolutely thrilled to be co-hosting the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade! As an ambassador for the Christmas Is Not Cancelled non-profit, which raises funds for families across the nation to receive Christmas gifts, Im grateful for this opportunity to help spread the word and to spread joy for families and children in need! Jesse Hutch shares the sentiment: I look forward to supporting the amazing people of the windy city and hosting the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade with Jen. To say that I am thankful is not only true but also fitting for the day of celebration and reflection.

Attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators each year, the 2023 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade features an eclectic roster of festive participants from across the city and the globe, including:

  • Staged Live Entertainment Performances from 8-9 a.m., including American Blues Theater (Chicago, IL), avery r. young- Poet Laureate of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Ballet Folklorico Sones Mexicanos (Franklin Park, IL), Black Ensemble Theater (Chicago IL), Chicago Korean Dance Company (Rolling Medows, IL), Dong Fang Chinese Performing Arts (Chicago, IL), Huaxing Arts Group (Naperville, IL), John Vincent (Chicago, IL), Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago (Skokie, IL), Suktinis (Lemont, IL), Musical Theater Works (Skokie, IL), Renacer Boliviano (Chicago, IL), Reyna Roberts (La Vergne, IL), Tayler Holder (Nashville, TN), Texas State University Strutters (San Marcos, TX).
  • Marching Bandsan annual family favorite of the Parade programminghail from 16 high schools and universities, including Arcadia High School (Arcadia, CA), Battery Creek High School (Beaufort, SC), Bedford High School (Temperance, MI), Bishop Noll Institute (Hammond, IN), Bloom Township District 206 (Chicago Heights, IL), Horace Mann Academy (Chicago, IL), Marist High School (Chicago, IL), Minnesota State University, Mankato (Mankato, MN), Portage High School (Portage, WI), Riverside Brookfield High School (Riverside, IL), Southland College Prep Charter High School (Richton Park, IL), Thomas Kelly College Preparatory (Chicago, IL), Thornwood High School (South Holland, IL), Thorton Fraction North High School (Calumet City, IL), Tennessee State University – The Aristocrat of Bands, first HCBU to play the Parade.
  • Specialty Units: 501st Legion Midwest Garrison. (Chicago, IL), Aloha Center Chicago (Chicago, IL), Ballet Folklorico Yolotzin (East Chicago, IN), Bloom Township High School District 206 Choir (Chicago Heights, IL), Chicago Boyz (Chicago, IL), Chicago Chinese Culture & Arts Society (Chicago, IL), Chicago Korean Dance Company (Rolling Meadows, IL), Chicago Spirit Brigade (Chicago, IL), Chicago Wheel Jam by Cirques Experience (Chicago, IL), Crystal Lake Strikers Drumline (Crystal Lake, IL), CTSHealth (Chicago, IL), Jesse White Tumbling Team (Chicago, IL), Jurassic Park Motor Pool: Midwest and Indiana Divisions (Osage, IA), Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago (Skokie, IL), Michigan City Soul Steppers Drill Team (Michigan City, IN), Mobile Azalea Trail Maids (Saraland, AL), Ozinga (Mokena, IL), Pro Dance Elite Studios (Algonquin, IL), Rebecca McCarthy School of Dance (Lakewood, IL), Renacer Boliviano Dance Troupe (Chicago, IL), St. Paul Winter Carnival Royal Family (Anoka, MN), Texas State University Strutters Dance Team (San Marcos, TX), Thistle & Heather Highland Dancers (Downers Grove, IL), Unicycling Society of America, Inc. (Garden City, MI), Windy City Ghostbusters (Lockport, IL), Marcedes Benz of Chicago, NASCAR.
  • Equestrians: Bertrands Miniature Horses (Watseka, IL), Herder Holiday Horses (Frankfort, IL), Miss Rodeo Illinois and Miss Teen Rodeo Illinois (Ramsey, IL), Ray of Hope Riders (Lowell, IL), Red Hats and Purple Chaps (Lafayette, IL), SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program (Barrington, IL).
  • Festive Floats: Casa de la Cultura Guatemalteca en Chicago, Mid-USA Falun Dafa Association, Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago, Santas Village, Krewe of Europa.
  • Honored Guests: avery r. young- Poet Laurate of Chicago, Lauren Makk of HGTV, Miss Ilinois Jessica Tilton, Miss Illinois' Teen Isabella Waggoner, Country Artist Reyna Roberts, and Country Artist and Actor Tayler Holder.

The Chicago Thanksgiving Parade sponsors include Atwood, CD One Price Cleaners, CTSHealth, CW26, HI Chicago, Radio 95.5 Rock, Jewel-Osco, Kinsale Contracting Group, Mercedes-Benz of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, NASCAR, Ozinga, Pluto TV, Raising Canes Santas Village, Setna iO, Sexual by Michel Germain Parfums, Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk, Staypineapple, Washington Hall, and WorldStrides OnStage. For more information and updates about the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade, visit

Cookie Monster is one of the many high-flying inflatable balloons making its way back to the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade
Cookie Monster is one of the many high-flying inflatable balloons making its way back to the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade


Originally called the Christmas Caravan in the 1930s, the Parade, now in its 89th year, was created in 1934 to help lift the spirits of residents suffering through the Great Depression. Since then, it has developed into a full-scale spectacle that celebrates the holiday season. What once started as an attempt to boost Chicagos economy, has evolved into a cherished holiday tradition for Americans across the country. Over thirteen different cultures will share their enriched traditions with Chicagos Parade this Thanksgiving morning. The sights on State Street give the audience a chance to travel the world and embrace other traditions, all without leaving downtown Chicago. Follow Chicagos Thanksgiving Parade on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Pluto TV, a Paramount Company, is the leading free streaming television service delivering hundreds of live linear channels and thousands of titles on-demand to a global audience. The Emmy award-winning service curates a diverse lineup of channels, in partnership with over 400 international media companies, offering a wide array of genres, languages and categories featuring movies, television series, sports, news, lifestyle, kids and much more. Pluto TV can be easily accessed and streamed across mobile, web and connected TV devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Pluto TVs growing international footprint extends across four continents and over 35 markets.

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