2006 McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade

Thursday, November 23, 2006

It's that time of year again! And what better way to embrace the fun, spectacle and spirit of the holiday season than by watching ABC 7's live broadcast of McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, November 23 from 9-11 a.m. Chicago's 73rd annual event was nationally syndicated, giving viewers across the country an opportunity to enjoy one of Chicago's grand traditions. If you missed the action LIVE -- you can use the links below to watch the parade on demand.

(Parade encore presentations air Sunday, December 3 from1-3 p.m. and Sunday, December 24 from 12-2 p.m. on ABC 7.)

Chicagoans know Turkey Day isn't official until ABC 7's host Janet Davies and co-host Alan Krashesky capture the excitement of the parade as it wends its way down "State Street that Great Street" for kids of all ages to enjoy. They are joined in the broadcast booth by 190 North's Doug Banks who will also co-host the parade this year. ABC 7 meteorologist Tracy Butler is working on "parade perfect" weather for when she and ABC 7's Chicagoing host Bill Campbell capture the sights and sounds of holiday merriment along the parade route from Congress to Randolph. Members of the ABC 7 News Team will also be a part of the festivities riding atop the ABC 7 float.

In addition, for all those who can't catch the parade broadcast, it will be streamed live on the ABC 7 Web site at and will be available on demand after the broadcast.

As the parade dazzles State Street crowds, millions of viewers at home will get a close up look at why it's considered one of the top five televised parades in the country. More than 2,800 marching musicians, 200 high-stepping horses and a colorful collection of 1,000 clowns, tumblers, cheerleaders, fire-club twirlers and acrobats, make the parade an unforgettable experience. Newcomers Elmo and T-Rex will be among 13 giant balloons featured in this year's parade, joining the ranks of Kermit, Bert & Ernie, Bear in the Big Blue House, Veggie Tales' Bob & Larry, Humpty Dumpty, Tom Turkey and other towering crowd favorites.

Among three dozen specialty units, standout newcomers include the Kilgore College Rangerettes from Kilgore, Texas, and the Top Hat Marching Orchestra from Burlington, Ontario, Canada, along with perennial favorites such as the AmeriCheer All-American Spirit Team, the Barefoot Hawaiians, the South Shore Drill Team and the Jesse White Tumblers.

The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales will lead an impressive posse of 12 equestrian units. Chicago's own high-stepping, 150-piece Marist High School Band, which recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, will join with top marching bands from across the country, traveling from as far away as Amsterdam, N.Y., Dayton, Texas, Pensacola, Fla., and Valdosta, Ga. There'll be special performances by the stars of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, American Girl Theatre and Light Opera Works  all under the watchful eye of Grand Marshal Ronald McDonald.

    Information For Those Attending The Parade:

    If you would like to walk historic State Street to follow the State Street Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, November 23, the parade route travels from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street stepping off at 8:30 a.m.


    From the Northwest, take I-90 or I-94 East (Kennedy or Edens Expressway) and exit at Ohio Street. Turn right on State Street.

    From the East, take the Chicago Skyway to the local traffic lanes of I-94 West (Dan Ryan Expressway). Exit onto I-55 (Stevenson Expressway) and follow the signs to Lake Shore Drive north. Turn left on Balbo to State Street.

    From the West, take I-290 East (Eisenhower Expressway) into downtown as it turns into Congress Parkway and runs right into State Street.

    From the South, take I-55 (Stevenson) and follow signs to Lake Shore Drive north. Turn left on Balbo to State Street.

    By Train:

    Metra operates 12 commuter rail lines into downtown Chicago from the surrounding six counties. Call 312.322.6777 for the holiday schedule. Check online at

    Amtrak has 50 trains that arrive or depart Chicago daily. Only a 20 minute walk from the parade route, Union Station is located on Canal Street, between Jackson and Adams. Call 800.USA.RAIL. Check online at

    The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) offers convenient bus and train lines to the parade route. El passengers should take the Red Line to Harrison or the Brown/Orange/Green Line to the Library/State/van Buren stop. For route, fare and schedule information, call 888.968.7282. Check online at CTA offers service from both O'Hare and Midway airports.

    By Air:

    Midway Airport serves thousands of travelers each day. Call 773.838.0600 or check online at for more information. O'Hare International Airport also serves travelers flying to Chicago. Call 773.686.2200 or go online at for information.


    164 South Wabash (at Randolph)

    210 South Wabash (at Adams)

    203 North LaSalle (entrance also on Clark)

    181 North Dearborn (Theatre District)

    All meters are free on Thanksgiving.


    Portable facilities are located throughout the route. Handicap accessible facilities are available in the staging area and along the parade route.

    Viewing Area for Persons with Disabilities:

    The State Street Thanksgiving Parade" is accessible for persons with disabilities. Spectators with special needs can view the parade from the SE corner of State and Madison in the designated viewing area or persons with disabilities. Guests can also access the parade from the CTA El trains via the Red Line Washington stop elevator, located on the west side of State Street, across from Marshall Field's.

    For more information visit

The Thanksgiving Parade is just one of the many community parades broadcast by ABC 7 Chicago. ABC 7 takes pride in being Chicago's parade station. The station provides live broadcasts and participates in a number of community-based parades each year, which celebrate our city's ethnic pride, cultural heritage and diversity. ABC 7 donates time and resources to make these special events a reality for all of Chicago. This year, the station will produce and broadcast ten community parades:


Whether it's our community parades, public service announcements that help raise money and awareness for worthy causes, or showing viewers the very best of our diverse city, ABC 7 always looks for ways to better serve the community.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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