Back when my Mom was still alive, she'd take us up to this Thai place in the Bloomingdale's mall, which had windows over-looking Michigan & Walton, so The Girls could see the parade, and she could enjoy watching The Girls watching the parade without having to deal with the crowds too much.
Fortunately, the parade starts only a couple of blocks from us. It used to "stage" west of State St. and be "live" by the time it got over to Rush & Oak, but the past couple of years they've had the floats lined up from Oak & Michigan back down the street, so if you want to catch Mickey, you need to get there early and deal with the heavy crowds on the Michigan Ave. end of things. The past few years we'd watched from back up the street, but today we worked our way down the block ... The Girls were able to get space on the front of the crowd, which was good.
What was really nice this year was the weather cooperated. Some years it has been very cold out there, and tonight I wasn't uncomfortable without gloves ... heck, didn't even zip up the jacket. This was especially good because it seemed there was a lot more of the parade this year than previously ... it took a good hour for it to go past us. Obviously from these pics, Disney and Harris Bank are the two biggest sponsors (they had multiple floats each), and have been for many years. If you're not from Chicago (or other Harris Bank territories) you might not know Hubert, but if you grew up in Chicago you've probably bugged your parents for a Hubert at some time or another, Harris having taken a page from the Tribune, essentially re-creating the Trib/WGN's (fabulously successful) "Cuddly Dudley" from the 60's, with a Hubert doll (I know we had a Cuddly Duddly, not sure about Hubert).
I kind of liked that pic with the Hubert balloon with the Playboy/Palmolive Building and Hancock Center behind it. If I had a tripod it would be a better shot, but at least it looks less blurry at 300x400 than it did at 2300x3000! One cool thing I noticed tonight is that the "Lindbergh Beacon" was once again lit, although no longer sweeping the city (the Hancock and other buildings growing up around it caused the original to be dismantled in 1981). Back in the 60's that was a signature of Chicago's cityscape, and I can remember as a kid watching it cut through the sky all night.
Anyway, we didn't freeze, the kids were amused, and I got away from the computer for an hour or two ... plus you got pictures ... I guess that's a win-win, eh?