County’s Thanksgiving Parade marks 20th anniversary Saturday

Photo from 2016 parade by Mike Diegel.

The Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade will mark its 20th anniversary when more than 100 participating units step off in downtown Silver Spring Saturday.

The parade, which will once again be televised live on NewsChannel 8 and be emceed by ABC7 Meteorologist Brian Van de Graaff and ABC7 traffic reporter Julie Wright, will begin at 10 a.m. and end at noon. The route runs from Ellsworth Drive and Veterans Place to Georgia Avenue, then south on Georgia to its end on Silver Spring Avenue.

The event regularly attracts more than 10,000 people to view marching bands, floats and balloons, dance groups and more, including the 12-foot inflatable turkey parade logo, a 12-foot penguin, motorcycles and horse-mounted police, the Montgomery County Recreation “T-Recs” 12-foot dinosaur, beauty queens, fire engines, antique cars, performing dogs and rescue animal groups, clowns and others.

The parade will culminate with Santa’s float playing holiday music and Santa tossing candy to the crowd.

In addition, the event offers a place to take family holiday photos. Next to the Veterans Plaza ice rink, backdrops will include inflatable turkeys, penguins, “Frozen’s” Elsa, and Hanukkah or Christmas décor. Parade-related photos marked with the hashtag #MoCoThanksParade will be broadcast on the Jumbotron at Ellsworth and Fenton along the parade route.

The following roads will be closed from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the parade, according to a county press release:

  • Northbound and southbound lanes of Georgia Avenue between East-West Highway and Colesville Road
  • Cedar Avenue between Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue
  • Pershing Drive from Cedar Avenue to Veterans Place
  • Veterans Place from Pershing Drive to Ellsworth Drive
  • Ellsworth Drive from Georgia Avenue to Cedar Avenue
  • Roeder Road from Fenton Street to Cedar Avenue
  • Fenton Street from Colesville Road to Wayne Avenue
  • Wayne Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street
  • Bonifant Street from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street
  • Thayer Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street
  • Silver Spring Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street

Parking will be available in the following garages:

  • Wayne Avenue Garage (closing at 8 a.m. Saturday)
  • Sligo Avenue Garage
  • Cameron Street Garage
  • Bonifant Street Garage next to Metro.

The Ellsworth Town Center garage will close at 2 a.m. Saturday and remain closed that day.

Parade goers can also take the Metro/Red Line to the Silver Spring station, just west of Georgia Avenue, across from the Discovery building.

Saturday’s weather forecast is cloudy with a high of 56 degrees and a 20 percent chance of rain, most likely later in the day. The parade will go on rain or shine. It will also be rebroadcast several times on NewsChannel 8 during Thanksgiving Day.

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