Monday, March 3, 2014

2013 Photos from the Thank You Party

Thank you to everyone who attended our Thank You Party, hosted by 115 Bourbon Street.  Thank you to everyone who couldn't make it as well, since we can't put on this parade without every single volunteer, participant, sponsor and VIP.

Thank you for helping to create FREE family entertainment for millions around the nation.

We've picked just a few photos to highlight here, but you can see EVERY photo from the Thank You party by clicking this link.

Don't miss out on 2014's fun!  Sign up to volunteer now by visiting http://chicagofestivals.org/contact/apply-be-volunteer-2014-mcdonalds-thanksgiving-parade.








Congratulations to the 2013 Volunteer Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2013 Volunteer Award Winners, who received their award at this year's Thank You Party (hosted by our friends at 115 Bourbon Street).

Don't forget, you can sign up to be a volunteer for the 2014 McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade by clicking here!  Help us entertain millions with FREE, family friendly entertainment.

Rookie Volunteer of the Year:  Lydia Laboy
(was not present at Thank You Party)

Volunteer of the Year: Wade Frazier

Leadership Board Chair of the Year:  Ellen Melo-Waak

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dancing Stormtroopers!!!

Even Stormtroopers enjoy the holidays!

Video from the 80th McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Chicago.






Turkey TV: Behind the Scenes of the 80th McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade

Former Event Manager Dan Mulka takes you behind the scenes of the 80th McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade, taking a look at early morning rehearsals, parade staging, disband and more.

This event takes over 18 months to plan (organizers are hard at work planning #81 at the same time as putting the finishing touches on #80). Three full-time staff members lead the charge, working with 40 year-round volunteers and 1,200 day-of-event volunteers. It's truly a community production that entertains millions.



Stay tuned to chicagofestivals.org to find out how you can take part in the 81st McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Chicago. Whether as a volunteer, performer, sponsor, or spectator, you play a vital role in Chicago's Grand Holiday Tradition.

Don't miss other episodes of Turkey TV:



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey TV: Painting the Logo on State Street

So, how does the logo for the parade appear in the middle of State Street? Despite cold temps and freezing paint, the students from Belvedere High School make sure that State Street is nice and decorated for the parade that is just a few hours away.



Turkey TV: Band Bash

There are over 5,000 performers in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade, and over 1,700 marching band members coming from across the country to perform. So, it's the night before the parade, what to do?

BAND BASH!!!



Monday, November 25, 2013

2013 Band Preview - The Nation's Best Bands

Tradition and parades. Goes hand in hand. And a traditional parade has marching bands filling the streets with the sounds of music and melody. Let's take a look at the bands in the 2013 McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.  And, don't forget, the parade takes place on WGN, WGN America and WGNTV.com this Thanksgiving morning at 8am CST.

Battle Creek Central High School
From Battle Creek, MI.  The Marching Bearcats will be marching 120 members under the direction of Brian E. Bucec.

Benjamin Russell High School
Dale Bloodworth directs the 160-member, Alabama-based "Pride of Alexander City."

Benton Community High School
From Van Horne, IA.  Scott Weber's 90-member Marching Bobcats are making their 2nd McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade appearance.

Bishop Noll Institute
Hammond, IN's Marching Warriors make their second-straight appearance.  The band is directed by Rocco Carioto.

Chicago Police and Fire Pipe Band
This is the first appearance of the Chicago Police and Fire Pipe Band in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.  They have previously appeared in the Southside Irish Parade and Columbus Day Parade.

Danville High School
Director Christie Cochran presents this 55-member band from Danville, OH.  They have previously performed at Navy Pier, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and Disney's Magic Kingdom.

Fairfield High School
From Fairfield, CA.  The Scarlet Brigade Band is making their first appearance in the parade.  The 127 member band is under the direction of Brian K. Swetland.

Hendrickson High School
The Marching Hawks from Pflugerville, TX, are making their first appearance in the parade.  The 240 member-band was named Fiesta Bowl Grand Master Champions in 2009.

Kelly High School
The Kelly High School Marching Trojans will be making their third appearance in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.  From right here in Chicago, IL, 75 members will be marching under the direction of Richard Daily.

Lake Zurich High School
Director Joshua Thompson's Lake Zurich High School Marching Band will be appearing in their third McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade. From Lake Zurich, IL, the band will be marching 200 down the parade route.

Marist High School
Director Andrew Creagh's Marist High School Marching Band will once again be in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade. 120 members of the band will be performing "Christmas Carols on Parade.

Oak Park High School
From Oak Park High School in Kansas City, MO, the Marching Northmen will be making their first appearance in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.  104 members will be performing under the direction of Adam Farley.

Oletangy Orange High School
From Lewis Center, OH.  Olentangy Orange High School's Marching Pioneers will be making their first appearance in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.  Under the direction of Mark Zirille, the band will be marching 195 members.

Rickover Naval Academy
Commander Mike W. Tooker presents the Rickover Marching Seadragons.  Playing Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and the Superman Theme by J. Cage, the 125-member band is making their first appearance in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.

Republic County High School
The Marching Buffs of Republic County High School will be making their first appearance in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.  The band of 70 is marching under the directino of Kalen Bebermeyer.

Rich South High School
Rich South High School's marching band will be making their second appearance in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.  Marching to the sounds of "Stevie Wonder," the band will be presenting 75 total members.

Sullivan High School
Director Chuck Moore's Sullivan High School Marching Band is making their first appearance in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.  The 80-member "Screamin' Eagles" will be marching to a Christmas medley of favorite tunes.

Tiffin Columbian High School
The 145-member Tiffin Columbian Marching Band will be appearing in their third McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.  The Tiffin, OH-based band is under the direction of Michael Meadows.

Yankton High School
The Yankton High School Marching Band is making their first appearance in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade.  Under the direction of Todd Carr, the 110-member band is based out of Yankton, SD.