Below is a sample itinerary for the trip. Varsity Spirit reserves the right to make any changes in its discretion.
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 24:
Arrive in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania*
- “Welcome to Philadelphia” dinner
- Parade rehearsal for the All-Americans
— Chaperones & parents will have an Orientation Meeting that will provide details on the week!
*Travel arrangements to and from Philadelphia are NOT INCLUDED in the cost of the trip. Please call ALTOUR at 866-719-0379 to arrange your flight to Philadelphia. Flight arrangements must be made through ALTOUR to receive transportation to and from the airport from the hotel. Transportation is only provided on Tuesday, November 26 and Friday November 29.
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 25:
Rehearsal and Sightseeing
- Buffet breakfast at the hotel
- Depart the hotel for the main PARADE REHEARSAL at the Philadelphia Art Museum
- Return to the hotel and enjoy some free time
- Join in on an optional walking tour of Historic Philadelphia
— Guides in colonial dress will take you to see such famous landmarks as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell
- Board the boat for a Dinner Cruise along the Delaware River
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 26:
Happy Thanksgiving & Parade Day!
- Rise and Shine for an early breakfast buffet at the hotel
- Depart the hotel for the 100th Annual “PHILADELPHIA THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE.”
- Perform and cheer to the crowds along the streets of Philadelphia! At the end of the parade route, perform for a live TV show and participate in the finale of the parade with a cast of over 1000.
- Return to the hotel following the parade for a traditional, Thanksgiving Lunch
- Celebrate Thanksgiving this evening with a DJ Dance party and pizza
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27:
- Breakfast buffet at the hotel to get you started for your travel home
Airline departures should only occur between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Who gets to go:
- UCA JH & JR Varsity All-Americans that were selected at camp
- UDA JH & JR Varsity All-Americans that were selected at camp
- NCA JH & JR Varsity All-Americans and All-American Nominees that were selected at camp
- NDA JH & JR Varsity All-Americans and All-American Nominees that were selected at camp
- UCE JH & JR Varsity All-Americans that were selected at camp
(4th grade and older)
These states are eligible for the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade:
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
What if I have family/friends that want to come spend Thanksgiving with us in Philly?
They are more than welcome to come! They can watch the parade from anywhere along the parade route. They can also purchase additional meal tickets for the Thanksgiving Lunch. These are first come, first serve so order soon. There are a limited number for $55 each. They can email Missy at firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
Can family/friends come eat any other meals with us?
YES! We do have a limited number of additional meal tickets for the Welcome Dinner Tuesday night, Thanksgiving Lunch and the DJ Party on Thursday night. The Welcome Dinner is $35, the Thanksgiving Lunch is $55 and the DJ Party is $25. These are limited so please order asap.
I am the only All American coming from my team. Will I be by myself?
Absolutely not! You will meet several new friends throughout the week. The majority of the All Americans that attend are the only ones from their team. By the first night, you will have many new friends. Get ready to make some new friends for LIFE.
What is the dress for the week?
The dress for the week is very casual. Most wear jeans and sweaters. It all depends on the temperature. The only time that you would wear different is for the Dinner Boat Cruise. That dress is Sunday dress (no jeans). Everyone can wear nice pants and sweater, skirt and sweater, or dress.
What is the weather like?
It changes every year. It has been cold, rainy, warm, snow…you name it, we’ve had it, so be prepared and check the weather before you leave.
I am a parent/chaperone going on the trip. Will get to do everything that my All American does?
YES! As a chaperone on the trip, you will travel with your All American at all times. The only time you will be separate is on parade day. While the All Americans are performing in the parade, the chaperones will watch the parade from the Grandstands.
What time can we check into our rooms?
The Hilton Penn’s Landing does its very best to have the rooms ready when you arrive. However, if your room is not ready, they can hold your luggage if you would like to visit Philly until your room is ready.
What do the All Americans wear to rehearsal?
For rehearsal Tuesday night at the hotel, the All Americans can just wear whatever practice clothes they are comfortable in. For the rehearsal at the Art Museum on Wednesday, they will wear their souvenir parade t-shirts and something warm for pants (i.e. sweatpants- anything that they can move in that is warm).
What kind of shoes should the All Americans wear?
Any white cheer/dance shoe is fine, if your shoe has a colored Nike swoosh or the colored panels that is fine as well. No colored shoes, thick soled Sketchers or dance slippers.
What kind of jewelry can the All-Americans wear?
They can wear small stud earrings only. No hoop or dangly earrings. Hair should be out of their faces and make up should be kept to a day makeup. No need for “performance” makeup.
What is the parade route?
The parade winds through the streets of Philly. You will receive the parade route map when you check in to the hotel. However, the parade will end in front of the Art Museum.
Is the parade on TV?
Yes, the parade is televised in Philadelphia on the local ABC station. There are select other stations that it will be broadcast on, however we have not received that information from the parade. Check with your local ABC station to see if they will show it.
What if it rains?
The parade happens rain or shine! We will provide some rain ponchos in case it rains, but we will keep our fingers crossed for sun!
Who gets Grandstand tickets?
Only the non participants (spectators/chaperones) on the Travel package get Grandstand tickets. They are given to us by the Parade and we can only get one for each non participant on our package, no extras. These tickets cannot be purchased anywhere. The Parade gives these to the groups who perform in the Parade, bands, etc. These will be given out during Registration on Tuesday and must be signed for.
If I do not have a Grandstand ticket, where is the best place to watch the parade?
Anywhere along the street is a great place! The performance the All-Americans are doing is walking and stationary so we will be performing during the entire parade route! However, the most popular place to watch is along the Ben Franklin Parkway.
If we are watching from the Grandstands, what should we be prepared for?
It all depends on the weather. Check the weather before you leave, but you can bring: a blanket (not one from the hotel), thermos for coffee, rain poncho and something to dry the bleachers off in case of rain, stadium back chair, maybe some snacks and as much warm stuff as possible. It can also get windy, it just all depends on the weather.
Where are the Grandstands located?
They are located directly in front of the Art Museum in the Parade television area. You will see the All-Americans from there!