Preparations underway for 6abc Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- The weather forecast is top of mind as we get closer to the 6abc Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The big event is just three days away, and there's a lot of work to be done.

It is an extravaganza like few others that is now a 97 year tradition.

The 6abc Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade is the oldest in the country, and with just a few days to go preparation efforts have hit a fever pitch.

We caught up with some of the professional dancers that you'll see Thursday morning perfecting their routines Monday inside the Sheraton in Center City.

Staging Director Robbie Mackey tells us, "We are down to the last wire, last crunch. So, these guys are learning the finale right now, which we'll actually be putting on the street this evening, so you can see that everything is really tight."

Meanwhile, outside the Art Museum volunteers were setting up the bleachers, and taping down holiday colored streamers up and down the steps.

Parade co-producer Todd Marcocci says with a project this big the tough part is making the whole thing look easy.

Marcocci explains, "I think the general public always thinks a parade just comes out of nowhere. And the amount of work that goes into this - it's not just a year-long project. We're already working into 2017 and 2018."

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The Action Cam found dozens of tap dancers going through their paces Sunday night at the DoubleTree Hotel on South Broad Street in Center City Philadelphia.

The 1.4 mile parade route takes off from 20th and JFK, making its way down to Ben Franklin Parkway all the way to the Art Museum.

Now, if you plan on coming to enjoy the festivities in person, give yourself plenty of time to arrive. There will be no shortage of road closures, coupled with a strong police presence for security.

But whether you come to Center City or watch it on 6abc, organizer say there's one thing you can count on: It's going to be a spectacular show.

Supervising Producer John Best says, "We have an incredible team, an incredible staff... We started rehearsals last week and everything's on schedule and track, and we're ready to go."

There will be lots of new things to see this year, including a four ton ice sculpture float shaped like a castle!

There will also be a very special tribute to our own very wonderful Captain Noah, who passed away a few months ago at the age of 90.

The parade kicks off at 8:30 Thursday morning and we can't wait to see you there.

You can watch the annual holiday tradition continue live Thursday morning beginning at 8:30 a.m. only on 6abc. Learn how you can watch and win great prizes!
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