Saturday, November 29, 2014

Charlotte Thanksgiving Day Parade

One tradition I have never felt inclined to participate in is standing in the freezing cold to watch a big Thanksgiving Day parade.  This year, we decided it was time to try out this tradition with the boys right here in Charlotte.  I feel that we got the "full" experience complete with freezing fingers and toes by the end of the event.  The temperatures were in the low 40's here in Charlotte, and I imagine a few degrees cooler in the shade of the big buildings in uptown.  The parade lasted over two hours, and we debated leaving early but decided to stick it out.  The kids were reasonably well behaved with Brody only trying to "escape" a few times.  I think they enjoyed the parade and did not seem to mind the cold nearly as bad as their parents.  We don't really invest in warm winter boots around here, and my toes were numb with cold.  Still, we thought the parade was a good experience to do once every 4 or 5 years.  The rest of the time, I will be content watching on television from the comfort of my home.  We did catch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade later that evening at home and felt that both parades had a lot to offer.

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The boys enjoying some gaming entertainment on the kindle before the parade started.

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Watching the police escort at the start of the parade.

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The giant Queen Charlotte turkey balloon.

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One of the biggest marching bands in the parade.

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A Thanksgiving cornucopia float with a local NC band.

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I hate I didn't get a picture of this pumpkin balloon with the full word "Thanks" showing.  Just really irks my OCD.  

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The Panthers were represented.

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With a big football balloon.

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These new segway balloons were the newer additions to the parade.

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Mr. Penguin was a favorite with the kids.

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My little man staying warm.

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The Charlotte Knights, our minor league baseball team.

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I guess the Knights added some additional mascots, including a King, Queen, and Court Jester, recently.  Homer the Dragon is an old favorite as we have met him on many occasions.

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Our former Charlotte mayor and current Governor Pat McCrory.  

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I loved the Charlotte Fire Department's display. 

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This Scottish bagpipe band was amazing. I love their outfits and the music.

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I love this succession of firetrucks through Charlotte's history.  

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A special firetruck honoring fallen firefighters.

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The boys loved this giant Mr. Potatohead fireman balloon.

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Patriotic Revolutionary War balloons.

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And balloons honoring the armed forces.

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And some red, white and blue stars.

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Our Boy Scout Council will celebrate its 100 year birthday next year. 

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A cute rocking horse
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The Wells Fargo Stagecoach

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Three chilly but happy parade watchers.

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A cute duck, monkey and bear bicycling down the street.

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Gus the Talking Safety Bus was all dressed for the holidays.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar may have been my favorite.
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It's Popeye the Sailor Man.

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Evan liked this big orange dog.

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And one last appearance by Queen Charlotte the turkey.

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Probably the biggest and best presented marching band was actually this South Carolina band.  Of course, most of the kids' parents work in North Carolina and live just below the state line in the Fort Mill area.

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This cute cookie making float was sponsored by our local natural gas company.

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Festive Christmas jingle bells.

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McDonald's float

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The reigning Miss North Carolina rode on this float sponsored by a big car wash chain.  Apparently, it was a special wash for reindeer.
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A cute little, umm big, elf

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The gingerbread man did not want to stand up.

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And finally, the boys waved to Santa.

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We just had to stay for the parade finale to get our first look at Santa for the year.
When the parade was over, our cold family was ready to warm up and eat lunch.  We had planned to go home to eat lunch, but since it was later than we anticipated, we decided to hit the local Cracker Barrel.  Our family Thanksgiving meal would not occur until the next day.


  1. This parade is just awesome! I don't think have anything that really compares to it here, although there are talks of making Tulsa's the biggest ever. We shall see.

  2. This parade looks amazing. We missed our local parades this year and that makes me so sad.

  3. I think I feel similarly to you (SHOCKER!) about parades. It always seems like so much effort to get there, park, find a place to sit, fight the crowds, etc, etc. I would love parades if I could just walk out to my street and sit on a comfy chair as it passed by, but it's just too much work for too little pay-off. I am very happy to sit at home and watch a televised parade. Ugh. I hope that doesn't make me seem like a party pooper.

    I do think this looked like a great parade though. A good mix of balloons, bands and floats. Sorry about the freezing though. We made it to 87 degrees in Phoenix on Thanksgiving. Quite the opposite.


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