Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1979
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Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving commemorates a feast held between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag in 1621. Today, people celebrate Thanksgiving in a variety of different ways throughout the country. Thanksgiving is an event for family and friends to gather, enjoy good food, and commemorate everything for which they are thankful. Individuals and families choose to celebrate Thanksgiving in different ways based on their own distinct family traditions.

Thanksgiving Day Parades

  • The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade brings in more than three million visitors along with an additional 50 million viewers on television. The parade is a 3-hour long event that features marching bands, giant balloons, and parade floats that walk from 77th street at Central Park West down to 7th Avenue and 34th, covering 2.65 miles.
  • Numerous other parades take place on Thanksgiving Day, including the Winternational Thanksgiving Day Parade in Miami, The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago, the Annual Mother Goose Parade in San Diego, and the Fountain Hills Thanksgiving Parade in Phoenix.

Thanksgiving Classic

Sports traditions are common on Thanksgiving, as well, which is true with the Thanksgiving Classic. The National Football Association hosts this annual event and has been doing so since 1920. The classic pairs three games with tailgate parties, cheerleading routines, and celebrity performers.

World’s Largest Disco

Hosted in Buffalo, New York, the World’s Largest Disco takes place at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center and brings thousands of disco enthusiasts to the dance floor. Guest appearances are common, with visits from beloved 1970s television, movie, and music stars.

Turkey Trots

  • Turkey trots are family-oriented walking, running, and jogging events.
  • Some turkey trot events raise money for special organizations and special causes, while others are for fun and enjoyment.
  • Schools, churches, charities, businesses, and other organizations host turkey trots across the U.S.
  • Turkey trots take place in cities large and small, including annual runs in San Diego, California; Southport, Connecticut; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; Las Vegas, Nevada; Austin, Texas; and Surfside Beach, South Carolina.

Turkey Hunts

Turkey hunts and turkey shootouts allow families to hunt for their own turkeys. Many of these events collect funds for charitable purposes, with the proceeds going to special causes and organizations. These events bring families and friends together for the age-old tradition of hunting the turkey prior to cooking and eating it.

Turkey Shoots

In small U.S. towns, turkey shoots are a popular way to trade participation in a shooting contest for a turkey. Participants shoot at wooden targets, and those with the highest scores win birds. In Bartlett, Tennessee, participants shot hay-bale targets to win turkeys. In Memphis, Tennessee, three shots win a turkey, and all proceeds from the event benefit food banks in the area.

Although these Thanksgiving Day traditions are unique, some things ring true among all them: They center on family, friends, and loved ones gathering to enjoy good food, share stories, and give thanks. If you’re strapped for funds, you may want to consider using emergency credit to pay for a trip. Participating in one of these Thanksgiving Day traditions can create life-long memories for your entire family. And that’s something to be thankful for.