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Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago - PCS




Chicago, Nov. 26, 2016
R. Mago//Press released by

The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) kept up its tradition of participating in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 24, 2016, on State Street in the heart of downtown Chicago. McDonald's® Thanksgiving Parade is the biggest parade in Chicago and the city’s premier holiday event.

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade celebrates 83 years of Chicago holiday tradition this year. Originally called the Christmas Caravan in the 1930s, the Parade was created in 1934 to help lift the spirits of residents suffering through the Great Depression. Since then the annual Parade has become a high-quality event attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators in person and millions watching on TV at home.

TV star actor and comedian Matt Walsh of “Veep,” served as grand marshal of the parade, singer Craig Campbell, comedian Sebastian Maniscalo, chef Graham Elliot of “MasterChef Junior”; Yuri Sardarov of “Chicago Fire”; actor Dante Brown of  “Lethal Weapon”; actress Emma Kenney of “Shameless,” and the Harlem Globetrotters participated and performed.

 Thousands of people packed both sides of the mile long parade route on State street to watch and enjoy the sights, sounds and the actions of the parade consisting of over 100 units including popular characters like Cookie Monster, Kung Fu Panda and Teddy Turkey gigantic balloons, top marching bands from across the country, festive floats, cultural groups, theatrical performances, equestrian groups, celebrity guests and over a thousand dedicated volunteers marching through the Loop to kick off the holiday season.

 The parade was televised live on WGN Channel 9 and WGN America from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, and rebroadcast on CLTV the same day 1 pm - 4 pm where millions watched from across the country. It was also streamed live on the internet for worldwide viewing.


 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. 

 "PCS has been participating in this parade since 2005. It gives our community great exposure in the mainstream, and it shows our commitment to celebrate the American festivals, in solidarity with the American people," said PCS President Gurmit Singh Dhillon.

“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 and dancing on the street interacting with spectators, all in the spirit of celebration,” said Rajinder Singh Mago, PCS Board of Governors and coordinator of the PCS participation in the parade.

 Kevin Atwal played the Bhangra Dhol drum. Punjabi Bhangra dancers entertained the crowds. Bhangra music blasting from the float made the cheering crowd clap and tap their feet to the beat. Mona and Manjeet Bhalla played the bride and the groom in their wedding dresses.

The PCS participation was organized by Gurmit Singh Dhillon, Surinder Singh Sangha, Manjeet Singh Bhalla, Bikram Singh Chohan, Balwinder Singh Girn, Vick Singh, and Rajinder Singh Mago with the help of many youth volunteers, including Jaskaran Singh Saini, Taranpreet Singh Nagra, Sandeep Singh, Manpreet Bhalla, and Rashpal Singh DJ... Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) is an all volunteer nonprofit 501 (c)