Join us on Thanksgiving Day for this Charlotte tradition that has entertained and inspired audiences since 1947. Complete with dance and choral performances, marching bands from around the region, larger-than-life floats, balloons and some of your favorite characters. This year’s parade will kick off the holiday season, Charlotte-style!
be a part of the tradition
Volunteer registration for the 2015 Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade is OPEN!
The Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade relies on a dedicated team of volunteers to ensure the parade continues to entertain and delight audiences on the street and watching on television. Working together, our volunteers help create excitement and continue the tradition of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade Order of the Wishbone offers several volunteer opportunities, providing a role to fit every interest and ability. We are looking for individuals and groups who are interested in using their time and talent to support this Charlotte tradition.
It takes 1,000 dedicated volunteers to produce the parade. From audience engagement to behind-the-scenes, volunteer opportunities include:
- Balloon Handlers
- Banner Carriers
- Community Relations
- Costume Walkers
- Media Operations
- Marching Bands
- Reserved Seating Host
- Set-up & Disband
- Agree to assignments throughout the year
- Attend training sessions as required for specific volunteer job
- Work on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day
- Support parade activities throughout the year
- Special access to the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade
- Branded jacket
- Commemorative pin
- Volunteer appreciation event
Contact us and we will work with you to find the right opportunity for your group, team or organization. Experience the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade in an unforgettable way!
Group Volunteer Opportunities:
Volunteering with the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade is a fun and engaging way for your organization to bridge team-building with community service. Popular opportunities for groups include:
Costume walkers: Members of your group plan and create a group costume, then walk and wave to spectators during the parade!
Balloon Handlers: Walk down Tryon St. as a team carrying a helium balloon!
Please contact: email@example.com with any questions.
frequently asked questions
- How many years has there been a Thanksgiving Day parade in Charlotte?
- The parade was founded in 1947. The 2015 parade will be the 69th parade.
- Can I participate in the parade?
- Yes! You can participate as a volunteer, with a parade unit or as a sponsor.
- Volunteers: We need your help for the 2015 parade! If you are interested in volunteering at the parade, please visit the Volunteers Page.
- Parade units: Please visit the 'March in the Parade" section for more information and applications.
- What is the parade route?
- The parade will march North on Tryon Street from Stonewall St. to 9th St.
- What time does the event start?
- The parade begins at 9:30am on November 26, 2015.
- Will the parade be on TV?
- Yes, the parade will be broadcast regionally on WBTV, Channel 3 (CBS) on Thanksgiving Day, time TBD. It will also air again on Christmas Day and be available through Time Warner Cable On-Demand.
- Where can I park?
- Ample parking is available around Center City with differing prices. Click here for a map of local parking lots and garages.
- Is there designated handicapped seating?
- There is no designated handicapped seating along the parade route. We recommend arriving around 7am to secure a prime spot up front on the sidewalk or along a street opening.
- Where is the performance area?
- The performance area will be held at the intersection of Tryon St. and Levine Avenue of the Arts.
- Can I buy a ticket for front row seating?
- Ticket sales for 2015 are currently closed. Check back soon for purchase information.
march in the parade
IT IS THE MARCHING BANDS, PERFORMERS, COMMUNITY GROUPS, SPECIALTY VEHICLES, ARTISTS AND VOLUNTEERS WHO MAKE THIS PARADE SPECIAL.
Charlotte Center City Partners (CCCP) has made it our mission to seek out entries that contribute to a high quality production, provide an enjoyable family-friendly experience for spectators and take into consideration the following criteria:
- Are colorful, entertaining and display community achievement and pride;
- Represent the best the Carolinas have to offer, such as health, sports, prosperity, entertainment and/or the arts;
- Promote tourism and enhance the marketing efforts of Charlotte’s Center City;
- Support worthy causes in a creative, crowd-pleasing way;
- Exemplify the wide cultural diversity of the region;
- Present an attractive, cohesive, coordinated group appearance;
- Add to the overall entertainment value of the parade.
CCCP reserves the right to refuse entries that may be disruptive, overly loud or unruly or lack a theme, cause, or family-friendly message.
CCCP is seeking up to 16 marching bands to participate in the 2015 parade. This category is inclusive of woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments and may also include auxiliary units of flags, dancers, majorettes, rifles, letter girls and pompom girls. These units should complete the Marching Band Application. The selection committee will extend invitations to the top 16 bands to participate in the 2015 Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade. Please see the application for more information regarding the High School Marching Band Competition Rules and Regulations.
Marching Band Applications are due Friday, May 1, 2015.
SECOND CHANCE MARCHING BAND:
The Second Chance Marching Band is an opportunity for musicians to dust off their musical talents and relive their high school or college band experience! We’re building a community band that brings together musicians from across the Carolinas to march together in the Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade.
Sign up here, we’ll provide more information about music selections, auditions and rehearsals this summer!
This category includes any units that are motorized or comprised of walkers and offers an excellent opportunity to let your creativity show. These units should complete the Specialty Unit Application. Units included in this category may include, but are not limited to:
- “Specialty vehicles,” such as antique cars, fire engines, carriages, race cars, etc.
- Dignitaries, celebrities and other VIPs riding in open vehicles or decorated cars
- Car clubs and motorcycle clubs
- Community organizations or neighborhood groups
- Artists able to perform while walking
- Dogs and other tame animals accompanied by human handlers. Handlers are required to clean up any animal waste that occurs during staging, route and disband areas.
Specialty Unit Applications are due Friday, June 5, 2015.
This category contains dance teams versed in various styles of dance, including but not limited to: step/drill, Irish dance, and clogging. We are looking for teams that are both talented and entertaining. These units should complete the Dance Team Application. Dance teams may be assigned to a sponsored float or unit to enhance the entertainment value. CCCP will work with the dance teams to determine appropriate music and costumes.
Dance Team Applications are due Friday, June 5, 2015.
Floats are reserved for sponsors only. Commercial units should contact our sponsorship department for more information on participating in the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade. Commercial units are defined as units that promote a commercial venture.
IMPORTANT DATES & DEADLINES
- May 1, 2015 Marching band applications due: Applications packets must be received by this date. Please allow enough time for shipping.
- June 5, 2015 Specialty unit and dance team applications due.
- July 10, 2015 Invitations extended to accepted specialty units and dance teams.
- November 6, 2015 Information packets sent to accepted units.
- November 26, 2015 Parade day
* Upon acceptance, all units will be required to complete and return a confirmation packet. Units that fail to do so will not be permitted to participate in the parade.
* Accepted units will responsible for their own transportation, lodging, meals, and other costs while in Charlotte.
For additional information of questions, please contact Ericka Houck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-332-9591.