6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade

6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade
Photo: dig.abclocal.go.com
The 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the longest-running Thanksgiving parade in the United States. The first parade was organized in 1920 by the Gimbels department store.

Ellis Gimbel, one of the founders of Gimbels Department Stores, wanted to promote his stores among holiday shoppers during the Christmas season. In 1920, about 50 store employees dressed in costume walked in America’s first Thanksgiving Day parade. The parade featuring floats and marchers culminated in Santa Claus arriving at the store’s toy department.

Gimbels ran the parade until 1986. That year, the department store chain was liquidated, putting the parade on the brink of cancellation. The event desperately needed news sponsored. Luckily, it found them. Family-owned department store Boscov’s and television station WPVI, commonly known as 6abc, took over sponsorship and renamed the event to the 6abc Boscov’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. When Boscov’s went bankrupt in 2008, IKEA stepped in as a new sponsor. Since 2011, Dunkin’ Donuts has been one of the two title sponsors, so the event is currently known as the 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade.

As the first Thanksgiving parade in the United States, Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day parade founded many traditions that would be later adopted by other parades of its type across the United States. The parade features colorful floats, giant balloons, high school marching bands, and celebrity performers. It culminates in the arrival of Santa Claus which marks the beginning of the Christmas season.

The 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade is known for its spectacular balloons and floats, performances, and live music. Balloons featured in the parade typically represent pop culture characters, from Bugs Bunny and Scooby-Doo to Strawberry Shortcake and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. In addition to balloons and bloats, the parade features high school marching bands from across the USA and a tap routine called “FanTAPulous”, with over 450 dancers from the East Coast. Special guests include beauty pageant winners, casts from musicals which currently perform in Philadelphia, cheerleaders of major sports teams, etc. One of the parade’s signature traditions is the annual Holiday Hood Drive.

6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade

Photo by Frogfrog Adventures




Related Articles