Best Holiday Parades of the Season - United Hub

Best holiday parades of the season

By Bob Cooper

Held around the world, Christmas and New Year's parades are traditional events that are sometimes over the top, but always festive. Here's where to go to watch floats, bands and much more to celebrate the holidays.

Pasadena, California

The parade in Pasadena is famous, massive, lengthy (with a 5.5-mile route) and most of all, dripping with tradition. The 128th Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses, fills the streets of this Los Angeles-area city on January 2, hours before the Rose Bowl football game that matches local favorite USC against Penn State. Colorful doesn't even begin to describe the parade, which features 25 marching bands, 20 equestrian units and 41 floats festooned with some 500,000 roses (about one for each spectator).

London, England

An estimated half-million spectators crowd London's streets for its annual New Year's Day Parade. Along the route, which winds past Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, are 8,000 parade participants, including a Berlin dance company, the Royal Airs Drum & Bugle Corps, Jurassic World dinosaurs and floats sponsored by various London boroughs. Visiting London is less expensive now than it's been in decades, so building a trip around the parade is newly affordable.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The names of award categories at the 10,000-participant Mummers Parade should give you an idea of the satirical tone of this zany, 116-year-old New Year's Day tradition: Comics, String Bands, Wench Brigades, Fancies and Fancy Brigades. The Fancy Brigades serve double duty by marching in the morning parade along Broad Street from City Hill and then performing for two ticketed theatre shows at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the afternoon. The “mummers," who practice for the parade all year, are colorful, silly and utterly unique.

San Diego, California

The Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade on December 27 features America's biggest procession of gigantic helium balloons along San Diego's downtown waterfront route, which is lined with 100,000-plus spectators. The nationally telecast parade also shows off floats, bands and drill teams. It's preceded by a big 5K run on the parade route and followed by a Battle of the Bands and the National Funding Holiday Bowl (Washington State vs. Minnesota).

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Allstate Sugar Bowl New Year's Eve Parade is the perfect excuse for being in the French Quarter to celebrate the dawn of 2017. The 3:30 p.m. parade concludes just in time to enjoy dinner in the Quarter followed by the countdown to midnight at the bars. The parade, which will showcase bands and Mardi Gras-style floats that end at the Sugar Bowl Fan Fest, kicks off two days of festivities leading up to the Sugar Bowl, pitting Auburn against Oklahoma.

Anaheim, California

Got kids? The perfect parade for families is Disneyland's traditional Christmas Fantasy Parade. It's short and sweet, lasting 40 minutes, but stars all of the Disney characters and creatures that cause a young child's eyes to widen with wonder. Riding floats along the parade route that stretches the length of Disneyland are Mickey, Minnie and the gang, plus prancing reindeer, dancing gingerbread cookies, and of course, Santa. It happens twice daily through January 8, and is just one of several holiday-related events in America's original theme park.

If you go

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your holiday festivities.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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