To The Parade

My older brother NG, cousin HW, and my father were at the Fern Rock Station in the Olney Section of Philadelphia. It was New Years Day 197-. We were excited.

We had spent hours at the Mummers Parade. The parade is a Philadelphia tradition which began in 1901. The Mummers Parade is an all-day affair featuring different divisions: Comics, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades ( We watched the different divisions shimmy up Broad Street. They wore garish feather costumes, danced wildly, and played outlandish music. I loved it. I loved being there with my family.

And now you know my roots. I am a parade person. I love parades. The Mummers set a high bar. So, I am not interested in just any parade.

BR first attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a 7 month old in an infant carrier. We were living on Central Park West so my wife and I took our young son a few blocks south and watched some of the parade. I loved it. He was indifferent.

Tomorrow morning, BR and I (SJ is invited but seems uninterested in attending) will once again head to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is our fourth straight year and has become a Thanksgiving tradition.

I love the parade. BR enjoys the trip – the bus, the journey through the tunnel, and the teeming streets of Manhattan – as much as he likes the parade. Yet, to see the excitement on his face as another giant float turns the corner and makes it identity known is priceless.

Add the parade tradition to my list of reasons for Thanksgiving being my favorite American Holiday. I hope one day BR will take his son to a parade and think back on our Thanksgiving trips into Manhattan. I have so much to be thankful for.

24 thoughts on “To The Parade

  1. A great experience you have there! Don’t ever move!! The most exciting thing we see in our parade in our small town is the 10 person bike with Shriners riding it!! We’ll check out the Macy’s parade on tv this morning but it definitely won’t be the same as seeing it in person I’m sure!! Have fun!

    • Yes, it’s definitely a cool parade.
      There’s a simple parade in our town on Memorial Day. We went a couple of times. The kids liked it, but I think the shelf life is limited.
      Anyway, thanks for the wishes and enjoy the holiday weekend.

  2. Okay, how would you recommend that midwesterners enjoy the parade in person? We’re seriously thinking of going next year. Should we even try find a hotel on the parade route? Are seats reserved, or first-come first-serve?

    P.S. I am afraid of big, unknown cities. Eric finally got me used to Chicago, but it took him years. I’ve never been in a taxi or on a city bus… 🙂

    • First, that’s cool. I hope you make it to the parade and love it! Secondly, if you want more tips on NY, please feel free to consider me a resource. I don’t have a great sense of direction but find Manhattan easy to get around – as long as you can count. Nearly all the streets are numbered.

      In terms of the parade, I have a feeling it would be very expensive to get a hotel along the route. Also, I think part of the fun is being part of the crowd. So, paying to get a hotel along the route is not worth it. I would plan to watch along the West Side of Manhattan. Columbus Circle (59th) would be great but you would have to be willing to get there pretty early if you want to be up front. I personally don’t bother. In terms of seats, I don’t think I have ever actually seen them there except for what people bring.

      Again, please feel free to ask more questions. I really enjoy New York and hope you and your crew will as well.

  3. Hi,
    So true! We all have lots to be thankful for and sometimes we should look back at what we have, instead of what we don’t have. Those memories of you and the parade in Philly instill in you the desire to pass that on to your children, and the fire is ignited in BR. Yes, I believe he will one day stand at a parade in a city of his own choice with his own family, and he will think back on his childhood and be thankful for the time that you as a dad took to take him to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

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