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Best Holiday Parade: America's Thanksgiving Parade

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Detroit parade also won in 2018

Holiday parades, like these 10 voted best in the U.S. by our readers, bring holiday cheer in the form of festive floats, dancing elves, Santa and his sleigh and millions of twinkling lights. Which holiday parade do you look forward to the most?

  • America's Thanksgiving Parade

    America's Thanksgiving Parade
    Detroit

    Detroit has been hosting America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van since 1924. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest and most popular parades in the country, complete with marching bands, helium balloons and colorful, larger-than-life floats making their way down historic Woodward Avenue each Thanksgiving morning.
    Photo courtesy of America's Thanksgiving Parade

  • Tournament of Roses Parade

    Tournament of Roses Parade
    Pasadena, Calif.

    If the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the holiday season, the Tournament of Roses Parade draws it to a close. Known as “America’s New Year Celebration,” this colorful parade of flower-covered floats has been a favorite for almost 130 years.
    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Reed Saxon

  • Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade

    Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade
    Fort Lauderdale

    Each year over a million people turn out to watch the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade live in Fort Lauderdale, while another 8 million watch on TV. It's the largest live audience, one-day event in Florida and the seventh largest one-day spectator event in the country. Everything from private boats to megayachts make their way along the 12-mile route.
    Photo courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade

  • Ford Holiday River Parade

    Ford Holiday River Parade
    San Antonio

    The theme for the 2019 Ford Holiday River Parade on the River Walk is Texas Music Christmas. Viewers of this nighttime event, now in its 39th year, watch as 21 floats covered in holiday trappings and twinkling lights float by, as costumed riders perform to seasonal tunes. Some 50,000 spectators turn out for the event, which is also televised.
    Photo courtesy of San Antonio River Walk

  • Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade

    Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade
    Fort Myers, Fla.

    The 31st Annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade in Florida is set to feature more than 30 boats illuminated with festive lights and decorations. The parade begins at Salty Sam’s Marina, passing the restaurants oof the back bay. Visitors can vote online for their favorite decorated boat.
    Photo courtesy of Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade

  • Sparks Hometown Christmas Parade

    Sparks Hometown Christmas Parade
    Sparks, Nev.

    The Sparks Hometowne Christmas Parade celebrates its 33rd installment in 2019. This Northern Nevada tradition includes seasonal carols by marching bands, festive floats and Christmas costumes. The parade marks the beginning of the City of Sparks Toy Drive, encouraging spectators and the local community to give back this holiday season.
    Photo courtesy of Sparks Hometowne Christmas Parade

  • Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

    Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
    Chicago

    Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival features two days oof holiday events leading up to the grand finale, a tree-lighting parade down Michigan Avenue to kick off the holiday season. The parade will feature marching bands from around the country, helium-filled balloons, decorated floats and an appearance by Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
    Photo courtesy of Davis Harrison Dion Photo Courtesy of Magnificent Mile Lights Fest

  • Reston Holiday Parade

    Reston Holiday Parade
    Reston, Va.

    The Reston Holiday Parade has been a holiday tradition on the day after Thanksgiving since the first parade marched in 1991. Now in its 29th year, the parade through Reston Town Center features antique cars, musicians, dancers and floats carrying special guests and local dignitaries. 
    Photo courtesy of Charlotte Geary / Reston Holiday Parade

  • Christmas Ships Parade

    Christmas Ships Parade
    Portland, Ore.

    Entering its 65th year, the annual Christmas Ships Parade in Portland features five dozen ships of all sizes bedecked with sparkling holiday lights. Each night for two weeks, boat owners proudly cruise the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, providing holiday cheer to shore side onlookers. Spectators can see the Christmas Ships up close, meet the captains, take pictures and chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
    Photo courtesy of Christmas Ships Parade

  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

    Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
    New York

    Each Thanksgiving morning, 50 million people across the country tune in to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, while 3.5 million watch live from New York. This traditional holiday season opener since 1924 is famous for its giant inflatable balloons, depicting popular characters like Charlie Brown, Hello Kitty and Elf of the Shelf. Live performances along the parade route highlight pop icons and the Rockettes.
    Photo courtesy of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

  • America's Thanksgiving Parade
  • Tournament of Roses Parade
  • Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade
  • Ford Holiday River Parade
  • Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade
  • Sparks Hometown Christmas Parade
  • Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
  • Reston Holiday Parade
  • Christmas Ships Parade
  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The top 10 winners in the category Best Holiday Parade are as follows:

  1. America's Thanksgiving Parade - Detroit
  2. Tournament of Roses Parade - Pasadena, Calif.
  3. Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade - Fort Lauderdale
  4. Ford Holiday River Parade - San Antonio
  5. Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade - Fort Myers, Fla.
  6. Sparks Hometown Christmas Parade - Sparks, Nev.
  7. Magnificent Mile Lights Festival - Chicago
  8. Reston Holiday Parade - Reston, Va.
  9. Christmas Ships Parade - Portland, Ore.
  10. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - New York

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning parades!

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