75th Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade will ‘illuminate’ Charlotte at night

The parade will light up the night on a Wednesday evening with the glow of magic, shopping, food and creativity
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In honor of their 75th anniversary, Center City Partners will shake things up for the Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade this year.

WBTV is proud to be the official media partner again for this big event which always brings excitement to Uptown Charlotte and across the Carolinas.

Heads up! There’s a day and time change to this year’s parade.

The parade will step off on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 24, 2021, at 6:00 p.m., and the floats, units, and bands will be illuminated to celebrate the 75th Anniversary in style.

2020′s Parade was a 100% made-for-TV event, to preserve this remarkable tradition and to keep our community safe in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown. This year, the Parade will observe this milestone anniversary in person, with lights, music, and ingenuity, on Thanksgiving Eve.

“Gathering in person for the holidays is something so many of us have anticipated for over a year,” said Jesse Cureton, executive vice president, and chief consumer officer, Novant Health. “As we prepare to celebrate the 75th annual Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade I’m reminded of the rich history and traditions that the parade brings to our community. We are proud to announce our continued partnership as title sponsor of the parade for the next five years and look forward to kicking off a healthy holiday season!”

Center City Partners also announced that this year’s Grand Marshal is Dr. David Priest, Novant Health’s senior vice president and chief safety, quality, and epidemiology officer, representing all front-line workers who worked such long hours and put themselves in harm’s way to keep our community safe throughout this pandemic.

“I’m honored to be selected as the Grand Marshal for the 75th annual Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade, an event that is built upon our communities gathering together,” Priest said. “As we celebrate this historic milestone in person – we are reminded of the strides we have taken to get here and the sacrifices that our frontline workers have taken over the past year and a half to provide care for us and our families. I am proud and humbled to represent them as we continue one of Charlotte’s greatest holiday traditions.”

We look forward to safely gathering together again thanks to successful and safe vaccine options and additional ways we protect ourselves. We strongly encourage all parade attendees to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status and, when possible, practice social distancing.

Illuminated Imagination for the 75th Anniversary Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade
Illuminated Imagination for the 75th Anniversary Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade(Center City Partners)

This year’s return to an in-person Parade will feature local, regional, and national talent and performers as well as your favorite units, inflatables, segwalloons, and marching bands.

“This is a great time to celebrate the holidays in Charlotte and we look forward to making new memories for our attendees,” said Robert Krumbine, Chief Creative Officer for Charlotte Center City Partners and Parade Producer. “The 75th anniversary of any event is a true milestone and changing the day and time will certainly make a major impact on this spectacular Parade.”

In addition to a new day and time, this year’s 75th Anniversary Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade will be spectacular with:

10 high school marching bands, 4 community marching bands, 28 specialty units, 13 floats, 7 special performers, and 8 giant balloons.

Sounds like a great way to kick off the holiday season!

Are you interested in being a part of the parade? Center City Partners says now is your opportunity. They’re looking for volunteers to walk as costumed cast members, helping to make it an unforgettable experience for everyone who attends. They’re are also looking for volunteers to walk the route while handling the giant balloons or as parade marshals.

Additional health and safety protocols will be required for all volunteers. To sign up as a volunteer, or for more information about the parade, check for updates at

WBTV can’t wait to bring you and your family this year’s Thanksgiving Parade on November 24!

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