Rather than taking the same vacation every year, staying in the same Niagara Falls hotel, taking the same tour of the falls, and shopping at the same stores, why not plan your vacation around a special event such as a parade? Many cities spend weeks or even months preparing their special parades, which draw in hundreds or even thousands of visitors from all over the world. If you'll looking for a famous parade you'd like to say you've been to, here are some of your options.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Held every year on the November long weekend that marks American thanksgiving, Macy's thanksgiving day parade is an extravaganza of humongous floating balloons representing some of the most iconic children's characters, such as Snoopy, Hello Kitty. Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Smurfs. The parade also include decorated floats featuring performing artists such as actors and dancers as well as numerous choral groups and bands from local schools to provide music. The parade is sponsored by Macy's and other companies like Snow Removal Waterloo.
If you think Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a big deal, wait until you see Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during Carnival. Held forty days before the beginning of lent, this massive party has links to the pagan Saturnalia festival. The country completely shuts down during the week of Carnival, even the branches of Mathews Dinsdale and the banks, so everyone can dress up and parade through the streets in parades organized by the samba schools. Some of the costumes can be very risque, so this might not be a great parade to take your young children to see.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
Most people have been to a St. Patrick's Day parade in their hometown, but having one outside your Brooklin homes is not the same as celebrating in Dublin with the Irish. The parade features thousands of fantastic costumes and floats - you can even apply to march in the parade yourself. The St. Patrick's Day festival is a four day celebration held from March 14-18 each year and includes rides, parties, concerts, and treasure hunts. Great for grown ups or families with kids.
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Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
If you want to pair watching (or participating in) a parade with a visit down under, check out Sydney, Australia in the weeks leading up to lent on the Christian calendar (typically late February and early March). Over 100,000 people from the Asia Pacific region participate in the parade with spectators also numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Canadian artists who like to dress up, look at fancy Mardi Gras floats, and support gay rights will love the party atmosphere and the week of parties that accompanies the parade.