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What to know for Philly’s Thanksgiving Day parade

Road closures, routes, how to watch, and more

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 24:  A general view of the balloons during the 92nd Annual 6ABC Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 24: A general view of the balloons during the 92nd Annual 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

It should come as no surprise to Philadelphians, but this city knows how to host a Thanksgiving.

This year, the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade—the oldest of its kind in the country—is in its 99th year, and it’s a massive event. Singers, dancers, floats, and special guests will line the Parkway Thursday morning. And, as with any big event, you are a lot of road closures, parking restrictions, and things to keep in mind (especially if you plan to travel).

So we’ve put together a list of everything to to know, from how to avoid the parade to how to get there.

When is the parade

The parade starts at 8 a.m. and goes until noon on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday).

Where is the parade?

It starts at 20th and JFK and ends on Kelly Drive. Here’s the exact route:

  • Eastbound on JFK to 16th Street.
  • North on 16th to the parkway
  • West on the parkway’s inner lanes, to Eakins Oval
  • Around Eakins Oval to Kelly Drive
  • End around Kelly Drive and the Spring Garden Extension

What roads will be closed?

The road closures start as early as tonight, when the city is shutting down Eakins Oval between Kelly and MLK drives for rehearsals from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Rehearsals are continuing Wednesday and the city is closing down the same roads from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Following that, the inbound lanes of JFK from 20th to Schuylkill Avenue will be closed at 7 p.m. Wednesday until the parade is over the following day, by 3 p.m. The outbound lanes of the same street will be shut down from 9 p.m. Wednesday until the end of the parade Thursday.

Expect to see a lot more road closures on Thursday, starting at 2 a.m. until the end of the parade, primarily along 20th and along market near the parkway. The whole parade route will close at 8 a.m. Thursday

What about parking?

The same areas will become no parking zones starting on Wednesday, according to a statement from the city. Signs will be posted along the area.

Who’s going to be there?

Yes, Gritty will be in the parade (rejoice). There’s also going to be lots of floats, many of them geared toward kids; performers from America’s Got Talent, the Voice and American Idol; Eagles cheerleaders; Miss Delaware, Jersey, and Pennsylvania; and the casts of local musicals, as well as a lot more.

Where to watch the parade

You can, of course, head to the parkway. But you might want to get there early, this is historically a pretty popular event. If you’re not one for crowds (or you have too much cooking to do) you can always catch the parade at home. It’s being hosted by 6abc and Dunkin Donuts, so you can watch the whole thing live at 6abc at 8:30 a.m.

Eakins Oval

Eakins Oval, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Kelly Drive

Kelly Drive, , PA