Dann Cuellar's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade preview

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Dann Cuellar took us on a special behind-the-scenes preview of the annual 6abc/Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade Wednesday night.

Zooming by the displays on his golf cart, Dann showed us how "Center Stage" was putting the finishing touches on their amazing production.

Meanwhile, the Upper Darby Shooting Stars were tap, tap tapping away on their show stopper: Sparkle Jolly.

The Capa Dancers and the Philadelphia Sixers Dance Team were also burning up the town.

And then, of course, there's Fantapulpulous.

Behind the scenes in the control room they were working out any technical glitches, and making sure everyone's on cue.

"The theme this year is lots of celebrities, lots of floats, new balloons and 34 musical numbers - the most we've ever had," said co-producer John Best. "Yeah, we're very excited."

Meanwhile, others worked on the festive atmosphere. Event organizers tell us they're right on schedule.

In its 96th year, the tradition was started in 1920 by the great department store owner Ellis Gimble.

Action News has footage dating back to 1932 of Mickey Mouse himself, from 1945 when the parade welcomed the G.I.'s home after WWII for their first Thanksgiving dinner in a year and 1956 when Ike was president and Marilyn Monroe was being courted by the playwright Author Miller.

Four years shy of a century, the annual parade is still going strong.

And so the countdown is on. It's all systems go for the big show. You won't want to miss it.

Ahead of the big day, Action News would like to wish its viewers a Happy Thanksgiving!
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