Performers prepare for 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade opening number

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- This Thanksgiving will mark a "Brand New Day" on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

That's the title for the opening number of this year's 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade. The annual event celebrated its 100th iteration in 2019. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person festivities went quiet last year.

"The balloons will be back, marching bands will be back, and we've taken a lot of precautions to make sure everybody is safe," said Executive Producer John Best. "But the parade that everybody's been used to for the past 100 years will be back just the way it's always been."

While many celebrated Halloween around the city today, dozens of performers gathered to make preparations for the Thanksgiving-centric event.

"It's so beautiful to see everyone working together, but they're all from different areas," said choreographer Chauntee Andrews. "We have people that are from different churches, people from different dance studios, and they all come together to perform this one big gigantic production number for the opening."

Portions of the opening number were filmed today at famous Philadelphia landmarks such as The Franklin Institute and LOVE Park. Guests will also be able to enjoy an in-person performance along the parade route.

"This year has been full of a lot of interesting, nerve-wracking, exciting experiences," said Mason Klaus, the Color Guard Captain with the Widener University Marching Band. "It's the first time we've ever done anything like this."

A team of about 175 people is responsible for organizing the 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade. In addition, countless singers and dancers will be strutting beside glamorous floats and larger-than-life balloons.

Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 25, 2021. The pre-show broadcasts at 8:30am and the parade officially runs live on the air from 9:00am to 12:00pm. To learn more about the 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade, click here.

RELATED: Here's what it takes to be a balloon handler at the Thanksgiving Day parade
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.