Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the most famous one, but every year, there are other Thanksgiving Day parades happening all over the country. St. Louis is one such city that hosts special Turkey Day festivities and this year, the Gateway to the West is celebrating the 35th year of its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Here’s how to watch the 2019 Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday (Nov. 28). The parade starts at 8:45 a.m. CT from 20th Street and Market Street and proceeds east towards Broadway in downtown St. Louis. TV coverage will air on KMOV-TV Channel 4 and will also be streamed live on their website.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Holiday Magic in St. Louis.” It features over 130 parade units, including floats, giant helium balloons, animal units, antique cars and fire trucks, and 13 marching bands from Illinois and Missouri high schools around the area, the Missouri Tigers dance team, plus Santa Claus will make his annual visit to end the parade. The event is free and open to the public.
Thanksgiving Day parades have a rich history. The granddaddy of them all is not actually the Macy’s parade, but Philadelphia’s Gimbel Brothers-sponsored Thanksgiving procession that ran in 1920. The Macy’s parade, which was called Macy’s Christmas Parade in its first year, started in 1924, as did Detroit’s J.L. Hudson-sponsored Thanksgiving parade. The inclusion of gigantic helium-filled balloons started a few years later when Macy’s debuted Felix the Cat in 1927.