6 Things to Know About the 2018 Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade in Uptown

The southeast's biggest Thanksgiving parade returns for its 71st year with a special float and plenty of fun.

Seventy years. That's how long the Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade has been marching the streets of uptown Charlotte, with each year somehow surpassing the last. The Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade has become the largest of its kind in the Southeast, and this year promises to be nothing different.

If you're looking to catch uptown Charlotte's 71st Thanksgiving parade this year—whether on TV or in the flesh—below is everything you need to know.

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1. The Vitals

Start making your plans now. The parade will be on Thanksgiving Day: November 22, 2018. Beginning at 9 a.m. at 9th Street in uptown Charlotte, the parade will march for a mile south on Tryon Street, ending at Stonewall Street. The performance area this year will be right in front of the Duke Energy building (550 S. Tryon Street).

 

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2. Where to Park

You should be able to find ample parking throughout uptown. If you don't want to drive, you can always take B-cycles or the Light Rail, which will be in service Thanksgiving morning.

 

3. How to Get a Front Row View

Finding a spot can be tough if you don't get out there early enough. Instead of taking your chances, you can reserve seats by purchasing a VIP Experience. Get front row access to all the action with this option—it's $25 in advance or $30 on the day of the parade. Reserve your seats on the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade App or buying them online here.

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There will be a new seating plan this year. The seats will be broken into sections along Tryon Street, which means you can purchase seats in any section you want. Traditionally, guests find that the best seats are those closest to the performance area (by the Duke Energy building this year). Each section consists of two general admission rows, so once you have purchased seats in a particular section, you may sit in any available seat within the section. 

To get in, you must scan your tickets at the box office on Thanksgiving morning. The box office opens at 7:00 a.m., and your seats will be available as early as then. Feel free to contact Carolina Tix with any questions.

You should also note there is no designated handicapped seating along the parade route. It's recommended to arrive around 7 a.m. to secure a prime spot up front on the sidewalk or along a street opening.

 

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4. What to Eat and Drink

There will be vendors along Tryon Street serving up hot chocolate, coffee, breakfast sandwiches, donuts, and more to satisfy your morning cravings. Or, if you want something heartier, take the kids to have breakfast with Santa at Coco & the Director (at the Marriott City Center, 100 W. Trade Street) from 7 to 8:30 a.m. For $30, you can have breakfast with St. Nick, plus you get a VIP Bleacher Ticket to the parade. Breakfast with Santa includes your choice of a breakfast sandwich, side of fruit or yogurt, a non-alcoholic beverage, and one photo with Santa. Get tickets here.

 

5. The special float

The City of Charlotte marks its 250th anniversary this year. To celebrate and recognize this historic occasion, the parade will have special float for CLT250, the yearlong, city-wide celebration that invites all residents to reflect on the city’s past, present, and future. Keep an eye out for this unique float as you enjoy Thanksgiving morning with family and friends in the Queen City.

 

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6. Where to watch if you can't make it

Prefer to see all the action from your couch? Having everyone over for dinner and you're spending the morning preparing? Luckily, you can catch the 2018 Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade on WBTV at 4 p.m. It will also be live streamed on WBTV’s Facebook page and on the parade app. In addition, you can see Santa again when the parade re-airs on WBTV on Christmas morning.

For more information on the 2018 Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade, visit the website here.