Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade



The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade is the oldest in the country and held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This remarkable parade began in 1920 and was produced by Gimbel Brothers’ Department Store to signify the arrival of Santa Clause. The parade is currently produced by 6abc and sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts.

Shake off the turkey and jump into the holiday spirit with the legendary and always exhilarating Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

Can Your Students Perform?

Absolutely!! Three performance categories are offered: choir students, tap dance students, and marching bands.


Mass Youth Choir

Elementary, middle school, and high school choirs may apply for the incredible opportunity to participate in the mass youth choir that performs for the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade musical production. Approximately 1k singers stand in special formation and perform on the steps of the Museum of Art. The entire cast of about 2k performers also sing in the grand finale telecast.

Join your voices with more than a thousand others on the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

All Star Tap Team

Tappers of all ages can apply to be part of the All Star Tap Team with more than 600 tap dancers from across the nation! The team performs a fantastic parade telecast presentation and also participates in the parade opening and grand finale.

Keep the beat with a spirited performance by the All Star Tap Team


Marching Bands

The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade is considered to be one of the most band-friendly parades in the country! The parade has 19 spots each year for high school, university, and specialty marching bands. Each band must have 90 or more members and are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Bands march down Benjamin Franklin Parkway along with spectacular floats and gigantic balloons to delight families and the viewing audience. Many local performers and recording artists ride on the floats.

The perfect venue to showcase your band’s extraordinary skills


The televised section of the parade occurs near the end of the 1.4 mile route, directly in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The parade is free except for the grandstand seats which are reserved for sponsors and VIP’s. It is syndicated to stations in markets east of the Mississippi and can also be viewed on a live webcast on 6abc out of Philadelphia.

Grab your 15 minutes of fame during this nationally televised tradition of excellence

Future Parade Dates

Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Thursday, 24 November, 2018



Educational Sites

Student travel groups love the ‘City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection’. Experience sites of great historical significance in the city where our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia is the home of Independence Hall, Liberty Bell Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rittenhouse Square, and the Franklin Institute Science Museum.

Step off the parade route and into our nation’s history when you visit Philadelphia’s treasured landmarks


The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade is a wonderful way to begin the holiday season celebrations! Don’t miss this exciting opportunity that you and your students will never forget.


Kaleidoscope Adventures has been traveling across the country every year since 1993 with thousands of students. They can create customized itineraries that include transportation, overnight accommodations, meals, and amazing educational and performance opportunities.


Kaleidoscope Adventures is synonymous with student group travel and take the time to plan every element of your exciting adventure!  1-800-774-7337.


Festivals of Music

Festivals of Music

By Angie Roberts Harris

Music is an essential part of education and finding the right competition arenas for your high school band, orchestra, or choir can be challenging. Festivals of Music are held in wonderful destinations across the country and provide exciting and professional festival experiences with some of the nation’s top judges.

Who is eligible to attend?

Music students from grades 6-12 can compete at Festivals of Music. Schools from across the United States and Canada participate.


Photo credit: Festivals of Music, Inc


Festivals of Music reserve high quality venues with wonderful acoustics in appealing and famous locations such as New York, Washington DC, Nashville, etc.  There is also a venue in Canada for an international experience!


Adjudicators are carefully chosen and always have helpful feedback with ideas and suggestions to raise the performance level of your group. Working with an unfamiliar conductor can help students overcome challenges and reinforce musical concepts from a different perspective. These well-known adjudicators are accomplished in their specific musical disciplines such as winds, strings, or chorale.

The Performance

Competitors perform before a panel of three judges who are master teachers and their commentary and comments will be provided to group directors. Following the performance, your students will enjoy working with the judges during a clinic held on stage. Afterwards, your group may leave and visit a fun theme park and/or local area attractions.


There are many opportunities for any type of ensemble from any type of music program.

Grand Finale Awards Presentation

The day after the performances, everyone returns for an awards ceremony to be recognized and presented with an award. Impressive trophies and plaques provide awesome incentives to strive for excellence. In addition to basic categories, there are over a dozen special categories that can be awarded. At select festival locations, the awards ceremony takes place at a famous attraction such as the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Six Flags theme park, or the Museum of Science and Industry.


The awards at the Festivals of Music are beautiful. Photo credit: Festivals of Music, Inc

What is included?

Festival performance fees include: on stage clinic, digital recording of adjudicator comments, souvenir pin for performing students and ensemble director, trophy for each group, and commemorative directors gift for ensemble conductors. The festival fee also includes admission to the attraction where the awards ceremony is being held.

The professionals at Kaleidoscope Adventures have over 24 years of experience in scheduling music student groups and travel and have extensive musical educational backgrounds.

Call (800) 774-7337 for custom itinerary options!


Fall for Marching Bands

Marching bands give ALL to their performances!

By Angie Roberts Harris

Marching Band Season

Beautiful colors, crisp air, and shorter days represent the fall season for many people. For band kids and their families, it also means countless practice hours, football Fridays, and competition Saturdays! Directors have worked tirelessly with their students to create new sounds and looks for a thrilling band season and exciting competitions.


Each day, band students sacrifice their time, energy, and resources not only to improve their own musical ability but also for the strength and skill of the entire group. They arise before day break and retire late in their efforts to memorize and perfect their pieces and keep up with homework and other activities. Following all the hard work, they perform their accomplished musical arrangements and wait to be judged. Performing students are ambitious, detailed, hardworking, and tired!

Marching bands work tirelessly for a seamless performance!


The thrill of performing in front of a large crowd can be stressful but satisfying and tons of fun! When an audience of strangers cheer, it is exhilarating to know that applaud is due to excellent performance and not because they are your village. Being acknowledged by others is a great reward!

The thrill of performing for an audience brings a smile everytime!

Time to Show Off

There are many opportunities across the country to perform in famous places such as Branson, MO, Disney World, Universal Studios, Washington, D.C., and New York City. These bucket list destinations provide once-in-a lifetime experiences and create lifelong memories.

Travel provides unique performance opportunities for hard-working band students

Give me a ring!

Making phone calls and booking for student groups is not fun! Being ‘on hold’, finding the right person, leaving messages, gathering information, and returning calls all take precious time and is frustrating, especially when you are initially calling for quotes and options. The process repeats itself following the reservation of every hotel, restaurant, performance venue, and transportation carrier on account of deposits, final counts, rooming lists, and constant changes. Whew! My experience has been to plan an hour for every 4 people you are booking; e.g. ten phone hours to make initial reservations for forty people.

Travel Support

Where can you find more information and choices about these fabulous trips? There are several ways to make reservations and here are some suggestions:

Group Travel Odyssey will help make your band performance magical!

Group Travel Odyssey

This site is designed for you to investigate destinations and group rates without making a single phone call! Simply choose a destination and click on the various items according to your interest. The different venues will then send a specific quote for your group and the entire process takes 15 minutes or less. Group Travel Odyssey is definitely the way to go if you opt to do all your own planning and booking. The sight is for your convenience in finding free information and quotes and is an amazing time saver! There is no place to enter a credit card and your information is not kept.

Student Group Travel Planning 

Let a student group travel company take the time consuming task of making reservations, tracking multiple deposits and payments, and coordinating changes off your hands! Their travel planners are excellent with student groups and work for their best interests. The biggest bonus is the special rates available to them because of the great relationships they have built with the attractions and hotels of your destination. In the long run, it will cost you less to let them do all the work!

Marching Bands Rock at Universal Studios in Orlando!

Kaleidoscope Adventures

Kaleidoscope is an award-winning student travel planning company, and their experienced travel planners have extensive knowledge of destinations across the country. They are located in Orlando, Florida and in the travel industry, they are especially known as experts on Disney, Universal, and Sea World. A professional tour director is either with your group the entire trip or on call 24 hours a day to take care of any urgent matters that may arise. This is my favorite option!