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The Numbers Behind the Thanksgiving Day Parade

Impress your whole family as you rattle off these stats in the living room next week.

Photos: (TV) istockphoto; (Garfield balloon, Santa) Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune; (Miss Illinois) Daniel Duverney/courtesy of Miss Illinois; (ball) Courtesy of Harlem Globetrotters; (turkey) Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

There’s more than food and football to be excited about this Turkey Day—it also marks the 80th annual Thanksgiving Day parade, from 8 to 11 a.m. on State Street from Congress to Randolph. Head down an hour early to stake out a spot, or tune in to WGN-TV from the warmth of your home.

Here’s what you can expect.



3.7 million

viewers at home


number of cubic feet of helium to fill the inflatable balloons (that’s enough for 15,147 regular balloons)


participants scheduled to appear (including Santa Claus, Miss Illinois 2013, and the Harlem Globetrotters)


people needed to handle the balloons (roughly 29 per balloon)


different floats


mascot: Teddy the Turkey


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