Thanksgiving Day Parade preps - Philadelphia News

PHILADELPHIA - November 20, 2008 Crews are building a new Narnia float and refreshing some classics that bring smiles to countless faces.

So what's glitter, glue, paint and elbow grease today is being transformed into floats that will embody the spirit of the holiday along the Ben Franklin parkway on Thanksgiving morning.

Marching bands from across the nation and giant helium balloons will pepper the parade route.

It will feature stars like Rachel Ray, singer and Dancing with the Stars contestant Mario, and the von Trapp children, descendants of the famed singers featured in the movie The Sound of Music.

International furniture retailer Ikea has joined 6abc as co-sponsor to thank the community for it's support.

"This whole feeling right now about being thankful for what we have and there's a great future even if we're going through some tough times," Ikea President U.S. Pernille Lopez said.

7,000 volunteers, marchers, and performers who fuel the parade are managed from a small office at channel 6, where the goal is to entertain and inspire.

"A little bit of magic. A little reprieve from the everyday struggles that everybody is facing right now and a moment, just a moment, where they can simply enjoy being with their family and basking in this wonderful holiday that they're all about to take part in," parade producer Maria DiBenedetto said.

The nation's oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off in Center City at 8:15 Thanksgiving morning.

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