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Top Five Thanksgiving Day Parades: Cold Start to Holiday Celebrations in East, Midwest

By By Katy Galimberti, Staff Writer
November 28, 2014, 12:33:35 PM EST

As the turkey is roasting and pies are baking, much of America turns to another popular Thanksgiving Day tradition to occupy the morning hours. Thanksgiving parades offer a joyous celebration of the annual holiday and are a mark of the dawn of the holiday season.

While the Macy's parade held in New York City may be the most famous, compiled a list of four other top parades across the nation. For those heading out to take part in the celebrations, check out the forecast for the morning festivities.

1. New York City- Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


The 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 a.m. EST on Nov. 27, and those crowded along streets hoping to glance at some of the year's unique floats will want to bundle up.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski, temperatures will hover in the middle 30s at the start of the parade.

Clouds and sun will mix overhead with some light breezes. According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Dean DeVore, winds will subside early Thursday morning and shouldn't pose a threat to the infamous giant inflatable balloons.

The snow from Wednesday night could leave slushy conditions on roads for travelers heading into the city in the early morning hours to line up for the best views.

"Folks coming in from outer suburbs are going to have some issues with higher snow amounts," he said. "There could be some slush and snow on the sidewalks and the ground, but roads in the city will be mostly just wet." As the parade travels and Santa Claus makes his annual appearance, temperatures could rise closer to the daily high near the 40 F mark.

Whether rain or shine, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day will go on as planned, according to Orlando Veras, Macy’s Parade spokesman.

"Macy's Parade officials have been monitoring the weather on a daily basis, but at this time, it is too early to make any determinations on the flight of our giant balloons on Thanksgiving Day,” Veras said. “Based on city regulations, no giant character balloon will be operated when there are sustained wind conditions exceeding 23 mph and wind gusts exceeding 34 mph.”

Strong winds have grounded balloons in the past as they can be unsafe to operate in gusty conditions. However, winds do not currently pose a threat.

On Thanksgiving morning, Macy’s and the New York Police Department will determine, with the help of an on-site meteorologist and data from other weather sources, whether the balloons will fly and at what heights, Veras added.

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2. Philadelphia- 6abc Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade


Celebrating its 95th year, the annual parade will kick off at 8:30 a.m. EST in the city that is known for introducing the idea of a Thanksgiving parade. Conditions are expected to be dry with partly sunny skies according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ben Noll.

Some lighter, though not disruptive, breezes will pass over the region during the day. Stronger gusts could reach close to 15 mph at times according to Noll.

Parade attendees should dress in warm layers as temperatures at the start of the parade will hover near 35 F. As the day develops, temperatures will rise into the low 40s.

3. Chicago- McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade


Floats and performers will wander down the streets of downtown Chicago on Thanksgiving morning starting at 8 a.m. CST for the annual parade. Onlookers and parade participants should dress appropriately as chilly conditions make for a brisk start to the holiday.

According to Noll, there will be intermittent clouds with some sunshine at times. Those attending the parade should bundle up if expecting to be outside for a long period of time.

"Temperatures topping out about 15 degrees below normal for this time of the year, near 30," Noll said. "An occasionally gusty breeze will make it feel even chillier."

Temperatures are expected to hover in the upper 20s in the morning around the start of the parade and rise slightly above freezing as the day continues.

4. Detroit- America's Thanksgiving Parade


Detroit's annual Thanksgiving Day parade will celebrate its 88th year with festivities starting at 8:50 a.m. CST.

As floats and entertainers march down Woodward Avenue, they will deal with cold and blustery conditions. As the parade continues, temperatures will rise towards the upper 30s.

Noll explained there could also be some falling snow for the festivities, especially as the parade winds down in the early afternoon.

5. Houston- H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade


Kicking off at 9 a.m. CST, the 65th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade will tour through downtown, presenting the city's finest attributes as part of this year's theme, Houston on Parade.

Parade-watchers are in for a treat this year, according to Noll, as temperatures will hover near 70 F with abundant sunshine.

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