PCS participates in Thanksgiving Parade

pcs bhangra-webCHICAGO: The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) participated in the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 27 on State Street in the heart of downtown Chicago.

Celebrating its 81st. year, the McDonald’s® Thanksgiving Parade is the biggest parade in Chicago and the city’s premier holiday event. The parade started with a performance from Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus in front of Macy’s department store. The freezing cold weather could not deter PCS members dressed up in ethnic costumes of Achkan, Kurta Pajama and Lehnga Choli from participating.

This colorful procession of more than 100 units consisting of giant helium balloons, remarkable floats representing many cultures and organizations, 23 high school marching bands, equestrian units, unique performance groups, and celebrities made their way down State Street marching North from Congress to Randolph to kick off the holiday season.
Beside the floats, Mercedes-Benz of Chicago featured a caravan of red and white Mercedes vehicles riding down State Street.

“The theme of the PCS float and its contingent was an Indian Maharaja wedding procession (Baraat), which included the bride and the groom in traditional Punjabi wedding outfits, the baraatis in festive ethnic costumes, Punjabi Dhol (drum), amplified Bhangra music, street dancing and interaction with spectators,” said Rajinder Singh Mago, member PCS Board of Governors.

Three Bhangra Dhol drum players led the PCS float with Punjabi Bhangra dancers entertaining the crowds.

Bhangra music blasting from the float made the cheering crowd clap and tap their feet to the beat. Mona and Manjeet Bhalla were the bride and the groom in their wedding dresses.

This parade tradition started in 1934 during the Great Depression in an effort to stimulate the economy and cheer up Chicagoans. Originally called the “Christmas Caravan”, the parade has evolved into a full-scale holiday spectacle and cherished tradition for Chicagoans and Americans alike.

Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) is promoting education, good citizenship, community development, civic commitment and involvement, and preserving Punjabi culture, language, sports and performing arts among its goals.

Surendra Ullal