No 2020 Philly Thanksgiving Parade, But TV Celebration Planned

Max Bennett

PHILADELPHIA — The annual Thanksgiving Day parade in Philadelphia (which is the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the nation) has shifted to accommodate safety precaution amid the coronavirus this year.

So what should you expect this year without a traditional parade?

Well the parade is now dubbed the 6ABC Dunkin Thanksgiving Celebration.

The celebration begins at 8:30 a.m. on 6ABC Action News. It will also be available to watch on AppleTV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV.

The three and a half hour program will feature virtual celebrity appearances, performances, and sweepstakes contests throughout.

More than 500 people will make up the event's virtual audience though Zoom.

The celebration was shot at various locations, including the Philadelphia Zoo, Independence Hall, Nemours Estate in Delaware, the West Chester University campus, Fairmount Park, The campus of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Other filming locations included Florida, California, Nevada, New York, Alabama, and Tennessee.

This year's event will be hosted by familiar Action News faces: Rick Williams, Cecily Tynan, Adam Joseph, Karen Rogers and Alicia Vitarelli with special guest host Carson Kressley and Julia Rae.

Special guests Ginger Zee of "Good Morning America," Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, Philadelphia's DJ Jazzy Jeff, Mayor Jim Kenney, and many more will also participate in the celebration.

Those who watch have a chance to win one of three prizes, with the grand prize being vacation for six people to Trade Winds Island Resorts in St. Pete, Florida.

All you have to do is watch the celebration from 9 a.m. to noon and look out for the "Golden Donut." When you see it, enter the secret phrase at for your chance to win one of the prizes. Other prizes are coffee for a year and a breakfast from Dunkin for 10 people.

Viewers will be able to get a taste of the parade feel with several classic floats and balloons set to make appearances.

Numerous performances are set to take place during the celebration. A full list of performers for Thursday is featured below.

And of course the event won't be complete without a visit from Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. Old Saint Nick and his wife will make an appearance at the finale of the celebration.

Marching Bands

  • Homewood High School Band, Alabama

  • West Chester University Marching Band, Pennsylvania

  • Wyoming All-State Marching Band, Wyoming

  • Tournament of Bands, Various States

  • Pennsbury High School Band, Pennsylvania

  • Dublin Coffman High School Band, Ohio

  • A.I Dupont High School Band, DE

  • West Orange High School Band, FL

Special Units and Performers

  • Power Surge, PA

  • Lion King Cast members from Around The World

  • Philadanco

  • Quinn Center for Performing Arts, PA

  • Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, PA

  • Treena Ferebee Choir

  • Mulford Dance, NJ

  • Betsy Daily, PA

  • KMC Dance, PA

  • Dance4Life, DE

  • Enon Choir, PA

  • Harmony Show Choir, NJ

  • Upper Darby Shooting Stars, PA

  • Native Nations Dance Theatre, PA

  • The Celebration Dancers

  • Santa Claus, PA

  • Mrs. Claus, PA

  • Mickey and Minnie Mouse

  • Mayor Jim Kenney


  • Exeter Township School District

  • Kensington Parkwood Elementary School

  • Muhlenberg High School

  • Salem Christian School

  • Dance Dynamics Performing Arts Center

  • Pocopson Elementary School

  • Aim Academy

  • Eisenhower Middle School

  • Willingboro High School

  • Dance Dynamics Performing Arts Center

TAP Schools

  • Dance Unlimited

  • Copeland Queen School of the Arts

  • Dance Dynamics

  • Main Line School Night

  • Dance Dynamics Performing Arts Center

  • Donna's Dance Works

  • Kathy's Dancenter

  • KMC Dance

  • Aspire Dance Academy

  • A Step in Time

  • Academy of Dance Artistry

  • Halliday Dance

  • Betsy Daily School of Performing Arts

Danc'n on the Parkway

  • Diverse Dance Company

  • Studio Eight Performing Arts Center

  • Frostburg Dance Academy

  • Dance Unlimited

  • Bethesda Conservatory of Dance

  • The Fun Dolls

  • Dance Dynamics Performing Arts Center

  • Spotlight Dance

  • Jane Baron's Academy of Dance

  • Nia Next Youth Co.

  • Dance Unlimited

  • Stafford Ballet Academy

  • Infinity Dance Complex

  • Betsy Daily School of Performing Arts

  • World of Dance Performing Arts Company

  • Aspire Dance Academy

  • The Dance Factory

  • Copeland Queen School of the Arts

  • The Moving Company Dance Center

  • Gotta Dance

  • Salisbury Dance Academy

  • American Dance Academy

  • Fusion Dance Centre

  • Philly Phresh Crew, LLC

  • Dance Unlimited

  • Pennsylvania Academy of Dance Arts

  • BC Discoveries Dance & Theater Arts Co.

  • Creative Edge Center for the Arts

  • Stepping Stone Dance Studio

  • Today's Dance Center

  • Diverse Dance Company

  • Janice's Danceworks

  • Melina's Dancing Garden

  • Perna Dance Center

This article originally appeared on the Philadelphia Patch