Thanksgiving and the holiday season in the Delaware Valley region will look and feel a little closer to normal this year.

Along with giant balloons and floats, many residents will be making their way to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Thursday as the 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade is set for 9 am. Considered the country’s oldest Thanksgiving parade, it was canceled last year and went online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bernie Prazencia, general manager and president of 6ABC, told The Philadelphia Inquirer, “We’re here to say it’s back, and it’s live, and it couldn’t be more important for us to be back given all that we’ve gone through and all that our community has suffered.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney also told The Inquirer the parade “means a lot to the kids because it’s fun for them and it means a lot to the parents and grandparents because they can remember when they were kids. It just keeps families together.”

The event had only been canceled once before, in 1971, due to inclement weather.

Courtesy of 6ABC

For the rest of the Delaware Valley region, the Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular will open Friday at the Fairgrounds at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks. The outdoor venue has various displays of lights, shopping outlets, dining opportunities, a skating rink, and other holiday experiences. Tickets for kids under 13 start at $13.99 with $19.99 for adults.

It will also host weekly special events such as ‘Waggin Wednesdays’ when visitors can bring their dog along for giveaways and photos with Santa. Another notable event is ‘Gritty Thursdays’ where the Philadelphia Flyers mascot will appear and visitors can take pictures.

In Chester County, Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square is preparing for its annual Longwood Christmas light show. Around 300 employees have been working on the display that contains 500,000 LED bulbs and 40 miles of wires.

This year’s theme for the Christmas light show is fire and ice, including a light assortment to compliment those colors. Adult ticket prices are $30, as many members and nonmembers visit one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the region.

In Bucks County, the Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm in Yardley is underway. Guests can drive through after-dark to see the lights display. It includes illuminated tunnels and almost every imaginable Christmas icon rendered in small bulbs. After finishing the drive, visitors can also see Santa and warm up around a campfire.

And in Delaware County, residents trying to cut their own Christmas Trees can do so at Linvilla Orchards in Media, Pa. The venue holds over 40,000 Christmas trees and has employees that will provide a saw to cut down the tree and assist in getting the tree to your car.

Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or