The parade formerly called the Carolinas' Carrousel Parade, the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade is a great way to spend Thanksgiving with the family. The event is on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, 2017. This year is the 70th year of the event. It starts at 9:30 a.m. The parade will march North on Tryon Street from Stonewall St. to 9th St.
The parade will be streamed on WBTV, Channel 3 (CBS) on Thanksgiving Day at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Marching in the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade
The deadline and fee depend on what type of entry you have and what type of organization your group is, so the final day for most people to register to participate in the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade varies. For more information, visit the parade's official site.
Originally called the "Charlotte Christmas Festival," the Belk Carolinas' Carrousel Parade started in 1947 and became one of the largest celebrations in Charlotte. It's known as the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade today and is the fourth largest Thanksgiving Day parade in the United States. Usually, a little over 100,000 people will descend on Uptown to join in the holiday fun. The largest crowd on record was in 1950, when an incredible 500,000 packed the streets of Uptown to watch the parade with popular cowboy star Hopalong Cassidy as the parade grand marshall.
Recent parades saw over 110 entries participate in the parade, including many area marching bands, floats sponsored by local organizations and corporations, step and drill teams, entertainers and much more. High school bands are judged on their performances: trophies are awarded to all participants, along with cash and prizes allocated to the top bands.
Volunteering for the Parade
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of people to pull off a parade of this size. In fact, over 1,000 volunteers are needed each parade year, in areas like balloon handlers, banner carriers, media operations, marshals, hosts, staging, and more. As a volunteer, you'll get not only the satisfaction of being a part of one of the nation's largest Thanksgiving parades and helping bring joy to thousands of visitors, but you'll get special access to the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade, a branded jacket, a commemorative pin, and an invitation to a volunteer appreciation event.
If you have a group that's interested in volunteering, the parade is a great way to build morale with your team, as well as fill some community service hours if needed. Group volunteer opportunities are available in two main areas: Costume walkers: Members of your group will plan and create a group costume, then walk and wave to spectators during the parade; and balloon handlers, who walk down Tryon St. as a team carrying balloons and making sure the paths are cleared for other handlers to come by.