Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 24, 2016

One of the great traditions at Chicago Human Rhythm Project is our tap dance performance in the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Each year, hundreds of dancers march down State Street together, experiencing the warmth and joy that both dance and the holiday season bring. We are delighted to unify Chicagoland through the love of tap dance and percussion year after year and continue to strive to expand ourdance community.

This year, we will have over 200 tap dancers dancing in the parade with us! What a great way to celebrate the holidays together and celebrate what brings us joy!

To view the parade in person, we recommend that you arrive early to get a good spot. For a less crowded area to watch the parade, State and Adams street is the place to be! Early spectators start to arrive between 6am and 7am. The parade starts at 8:00 am CST. And you can reserve a parking spot in advance using Spothero.

To view the parade from the comfort and warmth of your own home, tune in to WGN (Channel 9) for complete coverage.

When is the parade?

The 2016 McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade is on Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 24.

What time is the parade?

Parade runs from 8:00AM – 11:00AM CST.

Where is the parade?

The parade will take place in Downtown Chicago on State Street. It will run from Congress to Randolph.

When do dancers need to be in Chicago?

Parade check-in time is TBD on November 24, this will be based on our placement in the parade.

Is this just for tap dancers?  What level do tap dancers need to be?

Yes, this is for tap dancers intermediate level and up.

What ages can perform?

All ages – Children who are old enough to stay with the group on their own without direction are welcome to perform in the parade.  Children under 12 years old may find the weather to be too cold.  Adult dancers are also welcome.

Will choreography be sent to dancers in advance?

Yes, and there will be at least one rehearsal for studio team leaders at the American Rhythm Center.

What is a Team Leader?

A Team Leader is one or two representatives from the dance studio, who attend one required rehearsal, guide and lead their group on Thanksgiving Day, and are one of the points of contact for CHRP. This person needs to be mature and responsible. They also need to be an intermediate level or higher tap dancer. If you are marching as an independent tap dancer, you are your own team leader.

Would there be some kind of rehearsal that we would need to attend? When would it be?

Yes, there is a rehearsal for studio team leaders, taking place at the American Rhythm Center at 410 S. Michigan Ave., 3rd Floor.  Studio team leaders are required to attend at least one rehearsal.  The rehearsal date and time is still to be determined.

Will dancers need tap boards?

No, we will not be using tap boards this year.  We recommend protecting your taps by taping duct tape over them.  Another option is to use “Insta-Tap” slip-on taps, which can be worn over street shoes.  “Insta-taps” can be purchased from Dancing Fair:  Phone: (651) 631-1415, Email:

Besides the cost of travel, are there any additional costs?

There will be a cost of $50 per participant.

Do dancers need to purchase a special costume?

The registration fee includes a CHRP holiday sweatshirt that will be worn during the parade. Participants are required to bring black pants, tap shoes and a Santa hat to wear during the parade.  Please dress for the weather.


Thanksgiving Parade Individual Participant Form 2016

Thanksgiving Parade Dance Studio Registration Form 2016

Instructional Videos

TG Parade Shim Sham

Shim Sham Repeat

TG Parade Double Time

TG Parade Traveling Step