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McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade Chicago Live Stream,  Web Cam Feed

World Events, November , Chicago Thanksgiving Parade
 

Event Information:

The State Street Thanksgiving Parade, currently title sponsored by McDonald's and officially named the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade (see below), an annual parade produced and presented by the Chicago Festival Association (CFA) and is often known as “Chicago’s Grand Holiday Tradition.” It is held on State Street in downtown Chicago, Illinois, and the three hour event begins each year at 8:00a.m. CT on Thanksgiving Day. The parade is also telecast live, locally on WGN-TV, and nationally on WGN America.

 

In 1934, the United States had been in the Great Depression for five years. Many leaders in Chicago searched for ways to boost the economy as well as public spirit. Walter Gregory, President of Chicago's State Street Council, proposed a Christmas parade to Chicago Mayor Edward Kelly in the hopes that it would improve the moods of Chicago residents. The Mayor agreed to the parade, being primarily interested in its potential to improve Chicago's economy.

Chicago's first Christmas Parade was on State Street on December 7, 1934. Gregory and a costumed Santa Claus led the caravan, which was filled with toys and various merchandise from State Street businesses. As the city's government officials had hoped, the parade contributed to desirable growth in the local economy and 1934 held the city's largest holiday buying period since 1927. This was both exciting and surprising for the entire city. Not only was it the Depression, but that day held dangerously low temperatures throughout the entire state. Some areas of Illinois were as low as fourteen degrees below zero (fahrenheit).

In 1935, the city was in even worse financial status as a result of the Depression. The city could not afford the expensive floats that were used the year before. However, the event had been so successful in the previous year that The State Street Council and the City of Chicago agreed to use an old trolley to pull the floats, as there were trolley tracks on State Street at the time.

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