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Memories on Parade

Celebrating 70 years

The Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a holiday tradition in Charlotte since 1947. Over nearly seven decades, hundreds of thousands of participants, volunteers, sponsors, families and friends have centered their Thanksgiving traditions around this parade.

What began as a local holiday parade has grown into a magical showcase of performances, floats, dignitaries, celebrities, marching bands, balloons and surprises. Today, the parade is broadcast into 1.5 million homes from around the region, providing the gift of entertainment and joy to young and old.

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In 2013, it appeared the parade and scholarship program would cease to exist. However, through the generous support of new title sponsor Novant Health, the parade was given new life and rebranded as the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day parade. The 67th parade attracted its biggest audience yet: more than 100,000 attendees on-site and more than 180,000 television viewers. New performances and floats were added to existing parade favorites for an unforgettable Thanksgiving event.

The parade travels along Tryon Street through Uptown Charlotte. The 2016 lineup includes 18 marching bands from across the region, and bands from across the region and the country are encouraged to apply. High school bands are judged by qualified adjudicators and trophies are awarded to all participants, along with $10,000 in cash and prizes allocated to the top bands. In addition, a small number of honorariums are available for traveling marching bands