Mile of Smiles

The Most Fun You'll Have In A Mile

The Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a holiday tradition in Charlotte since 1947. Over nearly seven decades, hundreds of thousands of participants, volunteers, sponsors, families and friends have centered their Thanksgiving traditions around this parade.

What began as a local holiday parade has grown into a magical showcase of performances, floats, dignitaries, celebrities, marching bands, balloons and surprises. Today, the parade is broadcast into 2 million homes from around the region, providing the gift of entertainment and joy to young and old.

In 2013, it appeared the parade and scholarship program would cease to exist. However, through the generous support of new title sponsor Novant Health, the parade was given new life and rebranded as the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day parade. The 67th parade attracted its biggest audience yet: more than 100,000 attendees on-site and more than 180,000 television viewers. New performances and floats were added to existing parade favorites for an unforgettable Thanksgiving event.

In 2020, we produced a virtual parade with local performers and looking back on some of our favorite parade memories.  

This year, 2021, we will be in-person to celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of 75 years! We will also host our first ever night parade filled with lights, music, and ingenuity. Kick off the holiday season with us the night before Thanksgiving, November 24, at 6 p.m.