Are you in town for Turkey Day? Start the day off right and get outside and create the perfect holiday tradition with your family and friends at the annual Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here’s all you need to know, plus a little unsolicited advice.

Scoop Tip: Party Hosters and Turkey Basters swear by sending the in-laws, visiting family and the kids to attend Breakfast with Santa and The Parade, thereby getting everyone out of your house and your hair for a peaceful 4+ hours on Thanksgiving morning.



Start the day off early with Breakfast with Santa, and get the most important meal and visit out of the way before the parade even starts. For only $30 each, purchase tickets for Breakfast with Santa at Coco and the Director in the Marriott City Center, 100 W. Trade Street, just steps from the parade route. Not only will you get your choice of a breakfast sandwich, side of fruit or yogurt, non-alcoholic beverage and one photo with Santa, you will also get the key VIP Bleacher Ticket to the Parade.  Tickets here. 

Scoop Tip: Don’t underestimate the value of getting in early, parking, and having some where to go for a pre-parade “pit stop” with the kids. Plus, Santa. And one less meal to plan in the day of all food days.


Parade Seats

Whether or not you do Breakfast with The Big Guy, we are major fans of ponying up for the ticketed seats to the parade, even if just for the grandparents and the littlest of littles. You can pick your section on where to watch when your reserve your seats here, and plan your parking and walking route in advance. NOTE: There is no specific handicapped seating along the route
Scoop Tip: These are selling out. Don’t dally any longer.
Extra Scoop Tip: Your ticket only gets you a seat within a given section, not a specific seat. So, get there early if you want the widest selection of seats in your section. To get in, you must scan your tickets at the box office on Thanksgiving morning, which opens at 7:00 a.m. So, bring granddad and an uncle or two, have them save your seats and head over to Breakfast with Santa.

Where to Watch

The route is new this year, starting at 9th and Tryon at 9 am. and heading down Tryon to Stonewall. The Performance Area is at the end of the Parade, near the Mint and the Duke Energy Building. The crowds will be biggest here, where the performers pause to do their routines, but you can see all the things anywhere along the route.
Scoop Tip: As die-hard Mardi Gras attendees, we know there’s nothing to say you can follow the parade as it moves by. Get your seats, watch it pass, then get up and head down past the parade to catch it again.

Where to Park

There’s plenty of parking Uptown when all the offices and most businesses are closed. Just a guess, but lots of places will probably have “event parking” single rate pricing. 

Scoop Tip: Take the Light Rail and make an even bigger adventure out of your new holiday tradition.


But First Coffee…But then…Bathrooms

There will be vendors along Tryon Street serving up hot chocolate, coffee, breakfast sandwiches, donuts, and more.
Scoop Tip: It’s Thanksgiving morning. Most biz will be closed. Hotels, however, are always open. 

What to Wear?

This is scoopcharlotte after all. Here are our picks on cute turkey day outfits for Thanksgiving 2018.
Trainers, for sure, so you run along the route behind the crowd and catch it twice or more. And layers, cause it’s Charlotte in late fall. The weatherman is calling for a sunny, dry and chilly day, with a cold start of 32°. Brrr. 
Scoop Tip: Backpacks are key for parade watching and packing / unpacking the layers of clothing you need to add or shed. Gloves, scarves, hats, even our favorite puffer coats all go in it as the day warms up.

Where to Eat After?

Don’t have to cook this year? Check out our list of restaurants open on Thanksgiving here. Several are right there on the parade route.
Scoop Tip: Think the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving at a restaurant is heresy? Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.

What if You Can’t Make the Parade at All?

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.
Scoop Tip: Check your email from us Friday am for the best Black Friday sales around town, along with everything you need to know about Small Business Saturday.