State Street (starts on Congress and moves north to Randolph)
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Chicago – Be part of Chicago’s premier holiday tradition by signing up for a volunteer opportunity with the 75th Anniversary of the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade!

“Each year, we need 1,500 volunteers to help us bring the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade to downtown Chicago,” according to Victoria Prince, co-chairperson of the Thanksgiving Parade Volunteer Board.

Become part of the action on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, 2008 as over 300,000 spectators on State Street and 72 million cable homes tune in to watch high-stepping marching bands, gigantic helium balloons, colorful floats, spectacular equestrian and specialty units, lively stage performances, and more.

There are many opportunities available for individuals, families, and groups to show their spirit of giving:

BALLOON HANDLER – Ever wonder how a 70-foot tall Bob the Builder makes his way up State Street? Help maneuver 3,000 cubic feet of helium under the El tracks and down the parade route. Must be at least 14 years of age, minimally have one year volunteer experience with the Parade and be able to attend balloon training at Parade School on Saturday, November 15th.

BANNER CARRIER – Make your television debut! Join hundreds of other famous hopefuls proudly carrying unit and partner banners up the route. You may walk between one and three miles the day of the event and are required to wear khaki pants on parade day.

BLOCK MARSHALS – Are you always on time? Then McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade needs you! Block Marshals are stationed at every block to maintain the speed and spacing of units as they march up State Street. Route marshals communicate with step-off, TV Zone and parade participants to achieve perfect parade timing.

DISBAND – Where do all the participants go at the end of the Parade route? You will direct them on the disband team! Volunteers show units to their appropriate disband areas insuring units maintain forward motion and keep the TV zone from backing up.

GIFT BAG COMMITTEE – Are you a people person? Ever wonder how all those wonderful goodies are collected and packaged together for volunteers on Thanksgiving morning? Help recruit donations for the Volunteer Gift Bag and Raffle then attend the hottest party in town on Sunday, November 22nd, 2008. Enjoy some pizza and other goodies while stuffing gift bags for yourself and other Parade Volunteers.

GREEN ROOM – Here’s your chance to go where the paparazzi can’t! Entertain Chicago’s hottest celebrities and honored guests in the Parade’s Green Room. Volunteers escort personalities while making sure they are comfortable and relaxed. Must have been a volunteer for a minimum of three Parades.

HOSPITALITY – Calling all social butterflies! Our hospitality committee hosts our very important guests by assisting with food service, clean-up, ticket collection and crowd control. Get a fantastic view of the Parade from the VIP section.

MERCHANDISE – Do you have retail experience and love interacting with people? Join the parade’s merchandise team and see everyone’s smiling faces as you pass out goodies to the crowd, sell Parade souvenirs, or reward other hard-working volunteers, like yourself, as you distribute volunteer gift bags at the end of the Parade.

POO CREW – Do you crave applause and attention? Join the equestrian waste removal squad and receive the loudest cheers on the route! Always a crowd favorite, Poo Crew teams will be assigned to an equestrian unit to monitor and remove animal waste. Grab friends or family and make a Poo Crew of your own.

SHUTTLE ESCORTS –Take a ride with Parade celebrities as a shuttle escort! Ride with them in the shuttle from the Green Room to their on-site locations and ensure that their journey is safe, successful and enjoyable.

STAGING – Keep the Parade on track! Staging committee members are the first to greet Parade participants. Check in incoming units and direct them to their staging area. Then get ready to monitor, direct and usher participants to the integration area and into the line-of-march.

VOLUNTEER CHECK-IN – Welcome all the wonderful McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade volunteers with a smile. Team members will be responsible for checking in volunteers and answering questions about their day-of-event responsibilities.

For more information or to sign-up online to volunteer at the 75th McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, visit the Chicago Festival Association’s website at or call Dan Mulka at 312/235-2217.

WGN-TV9 and WGN-DT 9.1 will air the parade live and in high definition from 9 to 11 a.m. CT on Thursday, Nov. 27. WGN America will also broadcast the parade nationally, establishing it as one of only three parades in the country to be covered live, in its entirety, on a national television broadcast.

McDonald’s is the title sponsor of the 2008 McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade. Supporting sponsors include Columbia College Chicago, Case New Holland, C.D. Peacock and S.A. Peck & Co.

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Added by jules1099 on September 23, 2008