Thursday, November 11, 2010

when is the parade?!

I first moved to "the city" from the suburbs over 20 years ago (holy shit, it's been more than 20 years?!).  I moved to my current downtown Chicago location more than 12 years ago.  My first November of living in my downtown condo, I was out walking and saw this banner on the light pole:
I was so excited that a parade was going to take place right outside my window (almost).  I looked at that sign and took note, "okay, parade starts at 8am, but what day is it happening??"  I walked to the next light pole with a banner and studied it looking for the "day" of the Thanksgiving Parade.  I didn't see it on that banner either.  I walked from banner to banner studying the front and back of each banner trying to figure out when the hell the damn parade was going to take place.

It wasn't until three days later that it finally clicked:  the Thanksgiving Day Parade was on Thanksgiving Day!!  Oh yeah, I'm smart like that.

So, every year for past 12 years, I've been woken up around 5:30am on Thanksgiving Day with the sounds of high school marching bands practicing and the man over the loud speaker calling out roll call.  Luckily, I've gained a couple of nephews over the years and now we have a tradition of the boys spending Wednesday night at my place, and waking up early Thursday morning to go down to the parade.  If it is too cold or rainy, we just watch from the window or the terrace.  I've always told my friends that if their kids can wipe their own butts, they are welcome to participate in the sleepover.

And this year, I look forward to Thanksgiving Day Parade number 13 with Cooper and Carter.  Let's hope for decent weather and some rockin' bands and that everyone is able to wipe their own butt.


  1. I KNOW!!! Isn't it freakin' AWESOME?!?! We love that the parade sets up under our window -- though when the loud speakers start squawking at 5:30am telling people where to go and where to set up -- if you were actually PLANNING to sleep in, you're kinda screwed...

    This all started when I was waiting for my beautiful lungs... Our place is on the corner and we look up State Street... We would get up between 4:30 and 5:00am to start my physical therapy and as dawn was breaking, we would see the giant balloons begin to rise in the parking lot on State & Harrison -- it is an awesome site...

    Now that I'm much, much better -- we take my new lungs outside and wander around the parade set-up... Ruth & Sharon and sometimes Sharon's family come with us -- we head over to Starbucks and grab coffee, then wander around -- checking out the floats and marching bands and the poor little girlies in their skimpy outfits freezing their a$$es off if it's cold and Laura won't let me help them warm up (though, likely neither would they...) Then we go up to our place and I make breakfast and we have Pillsbury orange rolls...

    And then we watch them start the parade -- and try to lower the sponge-bob balloon flat to wiggle him under the el-tracks at Van Buren...

    And everyone in our group can wipe their own butts.

    Love, Steve

  2. Do you happen to know when the Memorial Day parade and Labor Day parades would be?

  3. AH, I love that tradition! Very cool!!!! And great memories with your nephews...they will remember that forever!

  4. I'm coming too. But, sometimes I can't wipe my butt!! lol