A hundred years - Philly's #1 family tradition
The City of Brotherly Love is also known for hosting the longest running parade of its kind. Today's Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 27, 2019) is the centennial edition (100 years), making it a truly special event.
The Action News (6ABC-Philadelphia) team of Rick Williams, Cecily Tynan, Adam Joseph, Karen Rogers, and Alicia Vitarelli serve as the hosts for the holiday affair. Good Morning America's Ginger Zee, along with apperances by Carson Kressley and Meg Donnelly (of the ABC show American Housewife) also lend their presence in hosting and providing on-air commentary. Dunkin's presence is well-represented through their stations complete with complimentary donuts, coffee, and other goodies for those in attendance.
Featured guests and artists include (but are not limited to) Macy Gray, Aloe Blacc, Yolanda Adams, II Divo, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and a wide range of special performances from marching bands (across the city, state, region, and beyond), cheer-leading squads, dance troupes, community organizations, a few "misses" (Miss Philadelphia, Miss Delaware, Miss Pennsylvania, Miss New Jersey, and the Miss Outstanding Teens from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Miss America), the Broadway Philadelphia community, the Walnut Street Theatre (members of the Cast of "Shrek: The Musical"), and the mascots from the Philadelphia sports teams (the Phillie Phanatic from the Philadelphia Phillies, Gritty from the Philadelphia Flyers, Phang from the Philadelphia Union, Swoop from the Philadelphia Eagles, Soul Man from the Philadelphia Soul, and Franklin from the Philadelphia 76'ers).
American Heritage Federal Credit Uniton, RAM Trucks, NRG, and Forman Mills are among the sponsors for the parade.
Despite the 40 degree temperatures and 35 MPH wind gusts, the crowd brings an energy and excitement beyond compare (click HERE for our action in the audience). Even with all of the festivities, there's a sincere "memo" to today's activities.
Multiple community entities who are marching in the parade do so with shopping carts; they do this so the crowd may bring and deliver canned goods, all of which are distributed to the city shelters and related service areas to help those in need, especially during the holiday season. This, combined with bringing together the great mosaic that is the city, is what makes this parade vastly different from others in our major cities and elsewhere.
As the Senior Vice President of Business Development (American Heritage Federal Credit Union) notes, "This parade is a true representation of the community and what it means to the city of Philadelphia and the thousands of surrounding communities".
As we ease into the holiday season and the end of the year, there are a number of things to show a measure of gratitude and appreciation for. Since its inception, this is what makes this time of year special, especially in the crown jewel of the Delaware Valley, the city of Philadelphia.
A century-old family tradition; it continues to be a tone-setter for the season and beyond.
Note: all photos and videos are credited to the author of this article (Andrew Snorton).