CHICAGO: The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) kept up its tradition of participating in the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 24, on State Street in the heart of downtown Chicago. McDonald’s® Thanksgiving Parade is the biggest parade in Chicago.
Originally called the Christmas Caravan, the Parade was created in 1934 to help lift the spirits of residents suffering through the Great Depression. Since then the annual Parade has become a high-quality event attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators in person and millions watching on TV at home. The Parade celebrated 83 years of Chicago holiday tradition this year.
Thousands of people packed both sides of the mile long route enjoying the parade consisting of over 100 units that included popular characters like Cookie Monster, Kung Fu Panda and Teddy Turkey gigantic balloons, top marching bands from across the country, festive floats, cultural groups, theatrical performances, equestrian groups, celebrity guests and over a thousand dedicated volunteers marching through the Loop to kick off the holiday season.
“PCS has been participating in this parade since 2005. It gives our community great exposure in the mainstream, and it shows our commitment to celebrate the American festivals, in solidarity with the American people,” pointed out Rajinder Singh Mago, a spokesman and a coordinator of the PCS participation in the parade.
“The theme of the PCS float and its contingent was an Indian Maharaja wedding procession (Baraat), which included the bride and the groom in traditional Punjabi wedding outfits, the baraatis in festive ethnic costumes, Punjabi Dhol (drum), amplified Bhangra music and dancing on the street interacting with spectators, all in the spirit of celebration,” added Mago.
Kevin Atwal played the Bhangra Dhol drum. Punjabi Bhangra dancers entertained the crowds. Bhangra music blasting from the float made the cheering crowd clap and tap their feet to the beat. Mona and Manjeet Bhalla played the bride and the groom in their wedding dresses.
The Chicago Festival Association, a unique and exciting nonprofit organization in the city of Chicago, produced this McDonald’s® Thanksgiving Parade.