8 Best Thanksgiving Parades To See In The South
The floats and giant balloons, the marching bands and beauty queens—what’s not to like about a Thanksgiving Day parade? No disrespect to the legendary extravaganza in New York, but we wondered whether the South might have a few notable Thanksgiving parades of its own—and it does. It comes as no surprise that most of the Southern parades we found are in our cities, where crowds can line the downtown streets and watch the majorettes twirl, the mega balloons drift by, and the drum majors strut their stuff. However, we did manage to find at least one Thanksgiving Day parade with a beach vibe—and golf carts. Here are the upcoming parades we’ve found, from El Paso to Charleston. Whether you’re watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV or participating in your small-town festivities, make sure to spend turkey day surrounded by the ones you love the most.
Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade
A 71-year-old North Carolina event, Charlotte’s parade is expected to draw a crowd of 100,000. It begins at 9:30 a.m. EST, at Tryon and Stonewall Streets.
Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade
There’s nothing better than family and football, especially on Thanksgiving Day. The Bayou Classic parade is a long-standing tradition that leads into New Orleans most anticipated football game. The parade steps off at the Mercedes Benz Superdome and ends at the French Market.
FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade
This Texas celebration has been around since 1936. It was held on New Year’s Day until 1978, when it moved to Thanksgiving Day. Some 250,000 are expected to turn out for the parade, which begins at 10 a.m. MST and follows Montana Avenue from Ochoa to Copia.
Wild Dunes Resort Thanksgiving Day Golf Cart Parade
Yep—this event is built around a golf-cart decorating contest. Led by the Isle of Palms Fire Department, the parade starts at 10:30 a.m. EST and includes an appearance by Santa.
H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade
The humble beginnings of The H-E-B parade began in 1994. This parade has drawn over a quarter of a million people who come out each year to see the floats, giant helium balloons, and other entertainment. The festivities begin at 9 a.m. on Lamar and Smith Streets, traveling a 20-block route.
Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade
This 35-year-old event—featuring everything from floats and marching bands to a charitable blanket drive—begins at 7th and Market Streets in downtown St. Louis at 8:45 a.m. CST.
Winternational Thanskgiving Parade
Retreat to warmer weather this Thanksgiving by traveling down South to Miami, Florida. Winternational Thanksgiving Parade has been celebrating turkey day for over forty years with a dazzling show filled with floats, local bands, and cheerleaders.
Holiday Flotilla: Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
On Thanksgiving weekend, Wrightsville Beach throws a nighttime holiday boat parade with an extraordinary firework finale. Head to the coast this holiday season.