Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade Draws Big Crowds

11/25/2010 09:09 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade kicks off downtown Thursday morning, and is expected to draw big crowds.

At 8:30 a.m., the parade will begin and march up State Street from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street. The parade will wrap up by 11 a.m.

Native Chicagoan Jennifer Beals will serve as the parade's Grand Marsal (along with Ronald McDonald, of course.) Beals is currently working on Fox cop drama "The Chicago Code," where she plays Chicago's first female police superintendent. The show airs in February.

The parade will include 14 giant helium balloons and more than 425,000 people are expected to be on the sidelines.

Temperatures will hover around 40 degrees throughout the parade, and the reports that Beals is prepared for the cool weather.

"We froze at Bears games," Beals told the paper of her Chicago-area childhood, adding that she will be wearing "several layers."

Are you attending the parade? Send your photos to and we will add them to our Thanksgiving in Chicago slideshow.

Watch the parade live on WGN Channel 9 in Chicago. Parade maps can be found here.