November 15, 2012
The McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade is for cartoon lovers (character balloons of Odie from "Garfield," Fred Flintstone and Curious George will fly high above the crowds), Christmas celebrants (Santa's reindeer will be there; OK, it's really the Double L Equestrians) and wrestling fans (WWE champ and Chicago native CM Punk will be the grand marshal). "America's Next Top Model" winner (Cycle 8) Jaslene Gonzalez, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and Joffrey Ballet are some of the other celebrities and groups that will be part of the parade, which has been a holiday tradition for nearly 80 years.
Why go: To embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving -- being thankful.
Reconsider: It's almost as entertaining -- and warmer -- to watch the parade on TV from your cozy living room (the parade will be broadcast live on WGN-TV).
8-11 a.m. Thursday on State Street between Congress Parkway and Randolph Street; free; 312-239-0457, chicagofestivals.org