November 25, 2011 |
Zion Spearman tried not to laugh as a costume artist smeared white makeup over his face and painted his lips gold. The 10-year-old noticed a box of red foam clown noses on a table at the Sheraton Hotel in Center City, where participants in the annual Thanksgiving Day parade gathered in the predawn hours to prepare for their march. "Do we get the ones that squeak?" he asked. Zion was one of 22 children who led the first crew of clowns in the city's 92d annual parade Thursday.
November 26, 2010 |
They had front-row seats for the best show in town Thursday. Thousands of spectators bundled up against chilly conditions and even a brief snow flurry, sipped hot chocolate, and oohed and aahed as the long line of floats and marching bands in the 91st annual Thanksgiving Day Parade moved through Center City. Crowds lined the entire parade route from JFK Boulevard and 20th Street to the Parkway and Art Museum, taking in the giant turkey, the cornucopia, and the Bugs Bunny balloons.
November 27, 2009 |
After a 12-hour bus ride and a night full of the usual teenage prank calls and ice cube fights in the hotel hallway, the York Comprehensive High School Band approached yesterday's parade with the seriousness only teenagers can muster. Sleep-deprived and a little mortified, the 142 South Carolina teens played "Eye of the Tiger" with no trace of irony on their faces as they marched along the Ben Franklin Parkway in the city's 90th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. That was until the teens met the Gilman family of Plymouth Meeting, who have "interacted" with the parade participants for nearly three decades.
November 23, 2007 |
Drawn by clear morning skies and remarkably balmy weather, a huge crowd turned out for Philadelphia's 88th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, cheering the passing caravan of marching bands, massive balloons and floats. With the temperature approaching 70 degrees, spectators in heavy coats quickly shed them, and more than a few folks lining the parade route wore shorts. "We've never seen weather this good," said Barbara Farnsworth of Moorestown, who has taken her children to the parade for 10 years.
January 15, 2007
London safer than Philly? Could be the guns Having recently returned from spending eight months abroad, I occasionally feel as if I'm seeing my home with an entirely new set of eyes. I've gained a new appreciation for things I took for granted, and discovered that some things I accepted as commonplace are rather strange local or national quirks. For example: I spent six months in London, relying entirely on public transportation, and never once felt remotely unsafe while travelling by subway or bus. Any time I saw someone carrying a weapon, the carrier was a police officer.
January 1, 2007 |
December is a time for contemplation, but not because of Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. December is the midpoint between two of Philadelphia's biggest events of the holiday season: the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Mummers Parade. I have been attending both for 35 years. Recently, I have ushered a whole new generation of parade-goers into the November and January rituals. I have a rare family focus group to assess the majesty of both events - four kids. My two oldest sons, 5-year-old Kameron and 3-year-old Josh, have been braving winter temperatures to watch big balloons and string bands almost from the moment they left the womb.
November 19, 1999 |
What would Thanksgiving be without a parade? Just turkey and trimmings. This year's Thanksgiving Day Parade has all the trimmings, and no turkeys that we could see. Count 'em: Fifteen spectacular floats. Thirteen high school marching bands and the Marine Corps Band. Eighteen giant helium balloons. Five choirs. Five dance groups. Four sets of cheerleaders - the Philadelphia Eagles', the University of Delaware's, the Universal Cheerleaders, and the Keystone Comet All-Stars. Plus: Susan Spafford, Miss Pennsylvania 1999; Kama Boland, Miss Delaware 1999; and Victoria Paige, Miss New Jersey 1999.
November 27, 1998 |
Staying home from the nation's oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade was never an option for the Conte family of Cherry Hill. For 13 years, no amount of rain, wind or bone-chilling cold has kept the Contes from catching a clear view of the floats, helium balloons and marching bands from their favorite corner of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. So it should come as no surprise that the on-and-off rain that kept many people home from yesterday's parade didn't force the Contes to settle for watching on television.
November 26, 1998 |
At the Art Museum, Justin Hughs of Old City pauses during his volunteer work to watch students from the High School for Creative and Performing Arts practice for the Thanksgiving Day parade. Hughs taped colored strips on the steps to form the Liberty Bell.
November 22, 1998 |
'Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through Manhattan's Upper West Side, dozens of creatures were stirring . . . including a hedgehog, a rabbit, an aardvark and a pig. OK, maybe Thanksgiving's not quite the holiday you associate with the traditional ditty, so we'll explain. Last Thanksgiving eve, quite by accident, we stumbled upon New York's biggest "block party" - the coming to life of the giant balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In contrast to the next day's parade, which draws two million onlookers, this annual happening - when the balloons are inflated on the night before Thanksgiving - has more the feel of a private performance, a backstage, behind-the-scenes look.