In making decisions about participants, the Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade considers whether prospective units :

  • Represent the best the region has to offer, such as health, sports, entertainment, the arts, and innovation
  • Promote tourism and enhance the marketing efforts of Charlotte's Center City
  • Exemplify the region's wide cultural diversity
  • Present an attractive, cohesive, coordinated group appearance
  • Add to the Parade's overall entertainment value

No commercial entities are allowed to participate in the parade without a sponsorship. Please contact us for more information.

CCCP does not recognize pageant winners as an acceptable parade entry.

CCCP reserves the right to refuse entries that may be disruptive, overly loud or unruly or lack a theme, cause, or family-friendly message.


The parade organizers are seeking up to 16 marching bands to participate in the 2021 parade. This category is inclusive of woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments and may also include auxiliary units of flags, dancers, majorettes, rifles, letter girls and pompom girls. The selection committee will extend invitations to the top 16 bands to participate in the 2021 Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade. Please see the application for more information regarding the WBTV Battle of the Bands Rules and Regulations.


This category includes any units that are motorized or comprised of walkers and offers an excellent opportunity to let your creativity show. Units included in this category may include, but are not limited to:

  • "Specialty vehicles," such as antique cars, fire engines, carriages, race cars, etc.
  • Car and motorcycle clubs
  • Community organizations or neighborhood groups
  • Talent able to perform while walking (jugglers, stilt walkers, etc.)
  • Dogs and other tame animals accompanied by human handlers. Handlers are required to clean up any animal waste that occurs during staging, route and disband areas.
  • No saddled horses are allowed in the parade.

Have you always wanted to walk in the parade but you don't fit into any of the above categories? Contact us for more info!

Click the link below to apply for 2021

The Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade relies on a dedicated team of volunteers to ensure the parade continues to entertain and delight audiences on the street and watching on television. Working together, our volunteers help create excitement and continue the tradition of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade Order of the Wishbone offers several volunteer opportunities, providing a role to fit every interest and ability. We are looking for individuals and groups who are interested in using their time and talent to support this Charlotte tradition.

Volunteer Roles:
Age to participate: you must be 16 years old to be a balloon carrier or walk alone as a costume walker. An adult may accompany a child 8 years or older.

It takes 1,000 dedicated volunteers to produce the parade. From audience engagement to behind-the-scenes, volunteer opportunities include:

  • Balloon Handlers
  • Costume Walkers

Volunteer Benefits:

  • Special access to the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • Branded jacket
  • Commemorative pin
  • Volunteer appreciation event

Group Volunteer Opportunities:

Volunteering with the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade is a fun and engaging way for your organization to bridge team-building with community service. Popular opportunities for groups include:

Costume walkers: Members of your group plan and create a group costume and submit for approval. If approved, you will be responsible for manufacturing. Walk in the parade and wave to spectators!

Balloon Handlers: Walk down Tryon St. as a team carrying a larger-than-life balloon!