November 25, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. - the tradition will be back and it will be bigger and better than ever!
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade is back in-person after the pandemic forced the beloved tradition to go virtual last year.
Some of the preparations were underway inside a Fishtown sound studio Wednesday night.
"We're starting our parade of unity pre-records," said Chally Rowjohn, creative provider for the parade. "Of course the cast isn't taping live on the street. This is a safety track to help them enhance their performance while live."
The cast, balloons and bands will again grace the Ben Franklin Parkway next month. This year will include over 35 musical performances, some of them hybrid, and a large socially distant cast.
"This will be our first time in the Thanksgiving Day parade. We're super excited," said Sheila Sweeney, director of the McDade Irish School of Dance.
For many of those performing, this will be one of their first live acts in months.
"The kids were troopers. They stuck through the pandemic and they were dancing on Zoom and when they finally got back into the studio, they put in hours of practice. With no competitions, no parades, the fact that they can finally show their stuff is really exciting," said Sweeney.
"Everybody has been a little isolated over the past two years. It's nice to come together for a common goal," said Joe Buches, artistic director and conductor of Philadelphia's Gay Men's Chorus.
Watch the 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade starting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, November 25.