A Philly tradition steps off amid costumes and c-c-c-c-cold

Members of he Southside marching band from Southside, Alabama, perform during the start of the Thanksgiving Day parade. ( RON TARVER / Staff Photographer )
Members of he Southside marching band from Southside, Alabama, perform during the start of the Thanksgiving Day parade. ( RON TARVER / Staff Photographer )
Posted: November 30, 2013

Bracing against wind and unfriendly parade-watching temperatures in the 30s, thousands of people have lined the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the 94th annual 6ABC Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Tradition is tradition, no matter how uncomfortable it might be.

"I've been here 47 years, that's what brings me out," said Felipe Negron, 47, who lives near the Parkway. "It's fun. It starts off the day. Go home, watch the game, waiting for the bird to fry."

Colleen Rodriguez, 43, came from Reading with her twin 6-year-old daughters and a 4-year-old son. "We've been coming for the last four years," she said. "Even though it is cold, we were looking forward to it."

The parade features various marching bands from all over the country - and a number of personalities. Mickey and Minnie Mouse traveled the parade route by horse-drawn carriage; the Phillies' Ryan Howard was in a convertible - though the first baseman surely would have preferred a heated minivan.

Jose Cosentino, 19, a sophomore at West Chester University, and a trumpet player in the school's marching band, got national exposure on ABC's "Good Morning America" as he played a tune to introduce weather anchor Sam Champion.

"It's a great start of Thanksgiving Day," Cosentino said. "It's great to be part of such a great event."

To George Winns, 41, of North Philadelphia, it's the perfect Thanksgiving Day appetizer.

"It brings your family together before the big turkey," he said.

Teisha King, 20, a native of Melbourne, Australia, who attends Old Dominion University, came to Philadelphia to celebrate the U.S. holiday.

"This is our American family, so we're enjoying it," said King, who wore a winter hat and jumped in place to try to stay warm.

sabdur-rahman@phillynews.com @sabdurr

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