The local holiday season officially gets underway on Saturday, November 17 when the 15th Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade steps off at 10 a.m. from Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street in Downtown Silver Spring. Traveling the same route as last year, the parade will proceed south on Georgia Avenue, ending at Silver Spring Avenue.
ABC 7 Meteorologist Brian van de Graaff will once again serve as master of ceremonies introducing more than 120 parade units. In addition to a few surprises, the new units this year include the Florida State Champions, Paul J. Hagerty High School Marching Band. Live performances include a sword fight scene from Round House Theater’s upcoming production of “Young Robin Hood,” holiday songs from the children’s choir of the Adventure Theater/Musical Theater Center, and “The Nutcracker” by the Maryland Youth Ballet.
This year’s parade begins with pilgrims, turkeys and Thanksgiving floats and ends with elves, reindeer and Santa’s sleigh. There will be a variety of marching bands including the Washington Redskins Marching Band. The Washington Nationals Baseball Club, dancing groups, beauty queens, clowns, fire engines and rescue animal groups will also participate.
The parade will be held rain or shine and will be broadcast live on NewsChannel 8. The telecast will be repeated on Thanksgiving Day.
For more information about the parade, call 240-777-6821.
The parade is looking for volunteers to be gingerbread men, elves and pilgrims on floats or to lead giant helium balloons. Volunteers, age 10 and older, can hand out candy to the crowd, dress up in costume and ride on the floats or act as unit leaders. Hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (volunteers need to be present the whole time) on Saturday, November 17. Volunteers meet at the Silver Spring Civic Building at One Veterans Place at Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street.
The north-bound lanes of Georgia Avenue from East-West Highway to Colesville Road will close at 7 a.m. and re-open after the conclusion of the parade at approximately 1 p.m. Ellsworth Drive, Fenton Street and Roeder Road will close beginning at 6 a.m., with limited access to Cedar Drive and Pershing Street.
Free parking will be available in the public garages, including the Wayne Avenue Garage, the Sligo Avenue Garage and the Bonifant Street Garage next to the Metro station. The Spring Street and Ellsworth Town Center garages are closed that day to accommodate the parade. The Town Center public parking garage at Ellsworth Drive will close at 2 a.m. Saturday. The Gateway Plaza lot at Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue will close at 7 a.m. Parade-goers are encouraged to take the Metro Red Line to the Silver Spring station, just west of Georgia Avenue, across from the Discovery building.
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