11 Great Places To Go If You Love A Parade


Bucket List Worthy  

There’s nothing like a parade to liven up humdrum everyday existence and add flair to the ordinary. Here are our top picks for places to go if you love a parade:

New York

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – photo by Asterio Tecson

Just the word “parade” often evokes thoughts of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held every November in New York City, which also plays hosts to several other parades throughout the year, marking occasions such as St. Patrick’s Day.


Sambadrome – photo by Cristiano Casado

Brazil’s samba parades are so popular, they have a purpose-built stadium in Rio called the Sambadrome. Need I say more?


Bud Billiken
Bud Billiken Parade – photo by Allix Rogers

Chi-town’s calendar is marked by many parades — Thanksgiving, St. Paddy’s Day, Gay Pride among them — but one that is unique to Chicago is the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic held every August.


Santa Claus Parade
Toronto Santa Claus Parade – photo by C’est la Viva

The Gay Pride Parade, and Caribbean Festival may be legendary, but Toronto’s oldest and best-loved parade is still the Santa Claus Parade, which is broadcast across Canada and around the world and has been held annually for over a century.


Junkanoo – photo by DeusXFlorida

Boxing Day in the Bahamas is not spent loafing about in pajamas. Take part in Junkanoo, which is equal parts parade, masquerade, and dance party.


Rose Bowl Float
Rose Parade float – photo by Ken Conley

The Rose Parade is another post-Christmas tradition and why not make tracks for Pasadena and watch it in person for once? Get up close to all of the pageantry of the Tournament of Roses, with its marching bands, baton twirlers, floats festooned with fresh flowers, and of course the Rose Queen.


Goa Carnival
Goa Carnival – photo by Anoop Negi

Shake off the winter blahs with a trip to Goa, India and its exuberant Carnival that lasts for days in February, with parades happening day and night


Mas Carnival
Mas – photo by richard.ward1966

Spice Mas is a summer carnival like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Liven up your summer with Soca and Calypso beats, the ring of steel drums, colourful costumes, and as much dancing as you can handle.


Natchitoches – photo by Shirlene Cooper

In a twist on the traditional parade the Natchitoches Christmas Festival in Louisiana has a parade on the water. Boats are painstakingly and outlandishly decorated and form a procession on the water that dazzles visitors.

Cape Town

tweede nuwe jaar
Tweede Nuwe Jaar – photo by anitab79

Part parade, part street party, Tweede Nuwe Jaar (second new year) on January 2nd features performers parading through the streets, however spectators also get in on the action making it jubilantly interactive.


Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour – photo by Jon’s pics

If a formal, regimented affair is more to your liking, fly to London, England for the Trooping the Colour ceremony that takes place in June. A great deal of pomp and pageantry goes into the event, where each regiment of the British military parades its colour (flag) in front of the Queen.

About the Author: Steph Spencer

Formerly the Editor of Let's Roll, now you're more likely to find Steph prowling the halls of incredible museums, hunting for historic landmarks, discovering mind-blowing science and literary attractions, tracking down the world’s largest whatchamacallit or attending wacky festivals. She is a freelance travel writer who explores the geeky side of travel on her blog A Nerd At Large, and dispenses random quirkiness on Google+ and as @ANerdAtLarge on Twitter.

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