The Crusader Newspaper Group

Chicago’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Steps-off on November 25 on State Street, Headlining a Busy Holiday Weekend

The Holiday season is in full swing with the Annual Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, November 25, stepping off at 8:45 a.m. on State Street. Residents and visitors can expect crowds during the Thanksgiving Day weekend throughout the city, including at the Christmas Tree and ice skating rink in Millennium Park, Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza, the Chicago Turkey Trot in Lincoln Park, the Grant Park Turkey Trot and “Black Friday” on November 26. This will also be a busy travel weekend at the city’s airports and on the roadways. Travelers are urged to use caution.

“Public safety is the number one priority for all special events hosted within the City of Chicago,” said Rich Guidice, Executive Director, OEMC. “We work closely with event organizers months in advance to plan and refine security measures implemented each year through tabletop exercises, safety plan enhancements and modifications to ensure the safety and security of event attendees and staff.”

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is reminding everyone to be safe and vigilant especially in crowds and report suspicious activity to 9-1-1. OEMC will monitor all citywide events from the Operations Center and coordinate public safety resources with the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department and City of Chicago infrastructure departments.

Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade, State Street from Ida B. Wells to Randolph Street 

The annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Chicago on Thursday, November 25 is set to step-off at 8:45 a.m. on State Street. The popular downtown parade will start at Ida B. Wells and head northbound on State Street to Randolph Street. There will be over 80 units consisting of giant helium balloons, floats, award-winning marching bands, equestrian units, local and national celebrities, animals, and various performance groups. The impacted area is from Roosevelt Road to Wacker Drive and Wells Street to Michigan Avenue. Residents can expect intermittent street closures between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. and parking restrictions will be in effect in the area. Spectators are encouraged to use public transportation. For Complete details, visit

Turkey Trot Chicago 5K/8K, Lincoln Park, Diversey Harbor 

The Lifetime Turkey Trot Chicago run/walk on Thursday, November 25 in Lincoln Park starts at 9 a.m. at Fullerton Pkwy and Cannon Drive heading east on Fullerton to the Lakefront Trail and finishing just south of the Diversey Driving Range. For complete details, visit

Grant Park Turkey Trot, 5K/10K, Run/Walk in Grant Park 

The annual run/walk in Grant Park on Saturday, November 27 begins at 8:30 a.m. The course is entirely along the Lakefront with the start and finish at Arvey Field (1501 S. Lake Shore Drive). For complete details, visit Grant Park Turkey Trot 5K & 10K (

2021 Christkindlmarket on Daley Plaza and Wrigleyville 

The Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza (50 West Washington) is open through Friday, December 24. NOTE: For weekend programming, there will be a full closure of W. Washington Street, including the CTA bus lane, between Clark Street and Dearborn Street starting at 5 a.m. each Saturday morning and ending at 11 p.m. Sunday night on the following dates: November 20–21, 27–28, December 4–5, 11–12 and 18–19. Hours are Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m. –8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. –10 p.m. with special hours on holidays. The Christkindlmarket in Wrigleyville at Gallagher Way (3635 N. Clark Street) is open through Friday, December 31. For hours and additional details, visit

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) will monitor activities, traffic, and weather conditions throughout the weekend. Traffic Control Aides (TCAs) will be on hand at events citywide to direct flow and impacts from heavy traffic. Public transportation is encouraged. For more information on CTA services and reroutes, visit or call 312-836-7000 from any area code/1-888-YOUR-I CTA.

OEMC offers the following safety tips for large-scale events: 

  • Have a designated meeting place if kids or family members get separated in the crowds. Be sure everyone is clear on the meeting spot and knows ahead of time.
  • Be aware of your location, escape routes and general surroundings in the event of an emergency.
  • Create an online Safety profile at now to provide essential details and information should there be a need to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. Smart911 is a service that allows anyone to provide information such as medical conditions, physical disabilities, photos of family members, etc. to assist 9-1-1 call takers and first responders get you the help you need quickly.
  • Follow OEMC on Twitter at @ChicagoOEMC and subscribe to Notify Chicago, the City of Chicago’s emergency alert system to receive notifications about extreme weather and traffic disruptions, at

Holiday travel also begins this weekend. The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) is preparing to welcome large numbers of travelers at both O’Hare and Midway International Airports throughout the holiday week, and there is no greater priority than providing a safe, secure and reassuring environment for airport travelers and employees. For everyone planning to travel through the airports, please keep in mind the following travel tips:

  • Wear your mask–In accordance with federal law, masks must be worn at all times by everyone over the age of two in the airport and on airplanes.
  • Arrive early–With added security measures and resurgent travel demand, you may encounter longer lines at airline check-in, TSA screening and concessions.
  • Prevent traffic congestion–Avoid the busy curb drop-off and consider arriving at O’Hare on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line or getting dropped off at the Kiss ‘n’ Fly area at the Multi-Modal Facility, now served by the Airport Transit System (ATS) to all terminals. Midway is accessible via the CTA Orange Line or the Kiss ‘n’ Fly area at 59th St and Kilpatrick Ave. For those picking up travelers, avoid circling and utilize the cell phone lots available at each airport (560 N. Bessie Coleman at O’Hare and 61st St/Cicero Ave) to wait for your arrivals to call you.
  • Visit– The website contains real-time information about flights, parking updates, taxicab wait times, available concession businesses and other special alerts for the traveling public.

Mask Guidance Update: Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in the City of Chicago must wear a face covering in indoor public spaces. Masking remains optional in outdoor settings where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower. However, masks are recommended for unvaccinated individuals in crowded outdoor settings.  For details visit 

Report Suspicious Activity:  If you See Something Say Something. The city reminds the public to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious activity. If you notice something suspicious, notify onsite security or call 9-1-1. If You See Something, Say Something™ is a national anti-terrorism public awaress campaign that emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities.

Smart911 Home Surveillance Camera Option 

Smart911 has a feature available to assist the Chicago Police Department (CPD) in better serving Chicago communities. Residents with an existing or new Smart911 safety profile can volunteer to share with police recorded home surveillance camara footage should a crime occur nearby or outside their residence. By simply opting in on an existing Smart911 profile or by creating a new profile at, residents can agree to share home surveillance camera footage by allowing the CPD to contact them in the event of a crime. All information is private.  


OEMC advises Chicagoans to be aware of weather conditions and to follow instructions and heed all warnings from public safety officials. We encourage residents to check the weather before heading out. For the most up-to-date weather information, please tune into local media or download a weather app.

OEMC will issue any alerts and notifications needed to keep residents and attendees up to date on weather conditions and emergencies.  Sign up for NotifyChicago alerts at OEMC also issues TEXT alerts for lakefront notices, issues affecting businesses or COVID-19 updates:

  • CHILAKE: For lakefront notices, TEXT “CHILAKE” to 7-8-0-1-5
  • CHIBIZ: For alerts affecting businesses, TEXT “CHIBIZ” to 6-7-2-8-3
  • COVID: Get COVID-19 updates by TEXTING “COVID19” to 6-7-2-8-3

For additional information on emergency preparedness information, visit the OEMC website at Follow the Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook (@coemc), Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911).



Recent News

Scroll to Top