Local Thanksgiving Events in the Chicagoland Area

Local Thanksgiving Events in the Chicagoland Area

     The Thanksgiving holiday can be seen celebrated in many different ways all around the world in the comfort of a family home. However, there are many opportunities for public celebration as well. 

     Around Illinois, there’s of course the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade on Thanksgiving Day, ranked the 2nd best Thanksgiving parade in all of the US by TimeOut Magazine. 

     The parade runs down State Street from Ida B. Wells Drive to Randolph, 8 AM to 11 AM, with huge balloons and floats galore. Some of the balloons include but are not limited to a giant turkey, Garfield, Cookie Monster, Peppa Pig and the Cat in the Hat. 

    The event is broadcasted live on CW26 for all of Chicagoland and is open to sign up from new sponsors, volunteers and performers. 

    Multiple holiday lights shows throughout the area are available during Thanksgiving time, including the beloved ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo, which opens November 17th through January 7th. 

    The Zoo has been putting the show on since the 1990s and is now returning for its 29th year. Admission is $7 per person most days, free on mondays and $10 on Fridays, Saturdays and the Eves of Thanksgiving and New Years’.

     The ticket proceeds will go towards the park’s commitment to keeping the Zoo free and accessible for all to enjoy, including caring for the animals and the earth’s conservation.  

      Other light events include Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Santa’s Rock N’ Lights in Lake County, Aurora Festival of Lights and Naper Lights.

     For anyone interested in giving back to the community this holiday season, charity organization Fight2Feed is hosting a meal drive on Thanksgiving Day at McCormick Place in Chicago. 

    The organization was started in 2014 and has served 200,000 meals since, according to Volunteermatch.org.

    They’re returning for the 10th annual Thanksgiving drive and have a goal of 1500 hot meals. Volunteers can find a form on their website Fight2Feed.org. 

     It’s important to acknowledge the history of Thanksgiving and its origins and not forget what this month means besides the delicious dinner. 

     November is Native American Indian Heritage Month and there are plenty of events people can attend to better understand the reasons behind why it’s celebrated.

     On November 18th, from 12-3 PM, Trickster Cultural Center in Schaumburg is hosting an informational event jam packed with singing, dancing and culture sharing. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to stop by and enjoy the sounds of Native American drum group, Iron Bear.

    More locally to the Homewood-Flossmoor area, there are less public events but multiple restaurants open for those uninterested in cooking at home. Buca Di Beppo, The Ashford House, and Francesca’s Vicinato just to name a few. 


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