Eighty Years of Thankful*

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Second only to the Macy’s parade in NYC, Chicago knows how to throw a party. Through the years, the parade has been a standing tradition for many families watching in person or on television, or as volunteers along the route.

It’s easy to get caught up in the holidays and forget what makes them awesome. As we fought for a parking spot at the grocery store this morning, amidst a police shake down of an unruly customer, we heard on the radio that a guy is already lined up for Black Friday.

Yeah, no joke. He has turkey delivered to his tent on Thursday.

My hope is that people remember that this isn’t supposed to be about consumerism, and fighting over parking spots, and non-stop glutinous eating and drinking. It’s supposed to be about friends, and family, and spreading joy, gosh darn it.

I won’t be making it to the parade this year… on the docket this Thanksgiving is a 5K Turkey Trot in the ‘burbs benefitting the Crystal Lake Food Pantry. But as I warm up with brunch and a hot apple cider post-3.1 miles, I’ll be sure to tune in on the tele (with thanks that I’m not stuck in downtown traffic).

Check out this amazing photo montage spanning 1935-2004. The parade was initially called the Christmas Caravan (these were the good old days pre-corporate sponsorships). The floats, balloons, and attractions change, so you can go back time and time again for a new experience each year. Those of you who are suckers for vintage (like me) might find this really cool!

Many thanks to The Silverman Group for sharing these photos.

*Read: I accept defeat on the 20-day challenge to document the things I’m thankful for. Look, I’m not perfect, ok? Better luck next year, I suppose.


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