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2021 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade

Marching Band Application

Application Deadline: September 30, 2021
  • Marching Band Application
    2021 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade
    Deadline to Apply:  September 30, 2021

    This is an application for participation in the 2021 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade. The application is designed to provide CFA Events with important information about your organization's proposed involvement. If your group is accepted, the information on this form may be used for production and planning purposes.

    • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
    • A photo of your group is required to complete the application.
    • * Indicates a required field

    CFA Events reserves the right to accept or reject any unit application. If your group is accepted for parade participation, you will receive a confirmation letter by October 1, 2021.

  • I understand that if our group is selected to participate, our group will be required to submit a certificate of insurance to CFA Events naming CFA Events as additional insured.

  • I understand that all marching bands in need of lodging are required to make arrangements through the parade's official tour operator, WorldStrides OnStage and that we are required to stay at the parade's official hotel, the Sheraton Grand Chicago. The contact for WorldStrides OnStage is Marina Grant at 866-588-1927, or via email at marinab@worldstrides.org.

  • While in Staging, on Route, in Disband, or any indoor or outdoor Parade operational area, Parade Participants, Unit Chaperons, Unit Escorts, Unit Support staff, Volunteers, Spectators, Vendors, Sponsor representatives, and Parade staff will be required to follow the City of Chicago, State of Illinois, and United States Government regulations regarding health and safety protocols for COVID-19. If a private venue or private property is part of the indoor or outdoor Parade operational area, COVID-19 health and safety protocols mandated by the venue must be followed.

  • If accepted, your organization agrees to participate in the 2021 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade, in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday, November 25, 2021. We agree to follow all rules and regulations and set forth by CFA Events and the City of Chicago.  We agree not to engage in any unlawful activities or behavior while at the parade, in any capacity.  In consideration for being accepted as a participant, we irrevocably grant the CFA Events the exclusive right to use, in any media, our name, likeness, photos or reproduction of our performance for any purpose including promotion, advertising or otherwise. With these rights, we hereby release CFA Events, its employees, sponsors, and agents from any claim, liabilities and/or damages that may now or in the future arise by reason of such use. Further, we acknowledge that we are aware of the risks associated with participation in this Parade and, therefore, on our behalf and that of our heirs, do hereby release the CFA Events, its employees, sponsors, and agents for any and all claims, liabilities and/or damages on account of any personal injury or property damage which may occur from any cause before, during or after the 2021 Parade.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Director Details
  • Assistant Details
  • Band Social Media
    • Please note, we are a Thanksgiving Parade, not a Christmas Parade.  Feel free to select music that is upbeat, energetic that will have the crowd moving as you march up the route.
    • Music selection conflicts with other marching bands will be resolved by date of application
  • Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, Max. file size: 25 MB.
  • Accepted file types: mp4, avi, wmv, mov, Max. file size: 50 MB.
    1. You are preparing to apply to participate in the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade. If accepted, you agree to follow and abide by all Parade rules and regulations.
    2. While in Staging, on Route, in Disband, or any indoor or outdoor Parade operational area, Parade Participants, Volunteers, Spectators, Vendors, Sponsor representatives, and Staff will be required to follow the City of Chicago, State of Illinois, and United States Government regulations regarding health and safety protocols for COVID-19.  If a private venue is part of the indoor or outdoor Parade operational area, COVID-19 health and safety protocols mandated by the venue must be followed.
    3. CFA Events does not accept every applicant.
    4. CFA Events reserves the right to accept or reject any Parade unit application.
    5. The application serves as a waiver of release for your organization and/or Parade unit. By signing the application, you are thus signing the waiver and agreeing to the terms therein.
    6. All accepted organizations must provide CFA Events a certificate of insurance naming CFA Events as additional insured. Your organization assumes responsibility for your participants.
    7. All accepted units are responsible for all their costs/expenses associated with performing in the Parade.
    8. All accepted units in need of lodging are required to stay at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.
    9. All high school marching bands in need of lodging are required to make their arrangement through WorldStrides OnStage.
    10. All forward motion units requiring a rolling sound system must obtain the system from Creative Soundz.
    11. All participants must dress in themed costumes, outfits, or uniforms. This policy includes all Parade unit escorts or chaperones. Only one (1) adult escort per fifty (50) participants can march with the unit.
    12. Parade participants are not allowed to distribute candy, pamphlets, or other materials along the ParadeRoute. CFA Events may give prior approval for distribution along sidewalks (outside of Parade barricades) to spectators.
    13. Baby strollers, wagons, or carts of any kind are not allowed in the line of march.
    14. No vehicles are allowed on the ParadeRoute with participating units unless approved by the CFA Events.
    15. All vehicles approved to be in the Parade must be licensed, registered, and insured. Proper paperwork must accompany the vehicle at all times.
    16. All approved vehicles in the Parade must have a completed City of Chicago Vehicle Information Form on file with CFA Events and in the vehicle on Parade day.
    17. All drivers must possess a valid operator's license for the type of vehicle they are driving. All vehicles must have valid insurance, with proof of valid insurance in the vehicle at all times.
    18. Motorcycles and novelty vehicles of any kind are not allowed in the Parade.
    19. CFA Events must approve all animals approved to be in the Parade. City, state, and federal ordinances and laws apply to all participating animals. All equine units must have a negative Coggins test within the past twelve months of the Parade date and have proof of such test at the Parade.
    20. Parade participants must stay in their assigned Staging location unless otherwise instructed by a Parade official. Failure to do so will result in removing your unit from the Parade.
    21. Parade participants must keep pace with the line of march. All units must maintain forward motion during the Parade. No countermarching or other maneuver contrary to the forward progress of the Parade is allowed. Gaps are not allowed to occur.
    22. Parade units are not to stop in the television zone unless otherwise directed.
    23. Parade units must follow instructions from Parade marshals.
    24. Alcoholic beverages and other controlled substances are forbidden on and along the ParadeRoute. This policy includes all Staging, Route, Disband, and all indoor and outdoor operational areas of the Parade. Participants consuming said substances before or during the Parade will not be allowed to participate and will be removed from the line of march.
    25. Use of any political sign, social or political material, or improper use of the American flag is not permitted. Proper use of the flag is governed bythe U.S. flag policy outlined in the U.S. Code. A copy of the U.S. Code may be obtained from CFA Events.
    26. CFA Events must approve any additions or changes made to Parade units after being accepted. Parade units with changes that have not been approved will not be allowed in the line of march.
    27. The Parade staff reserves the right to remove any unit from the line of march for any reason or cause without advance notice.
    28. All units should be prepared to stop and perform during commercial breaks. While some commercial breaks will be longer, you should not plan on performing for more than 1 minute 30 seconds at each stop. Anticipate at least three stops for commercials while on the ParadeRoute.
    29. The Parade will take place rain or shine.
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