Thanksgiving: a day of travel and television

The biggest travel weekend each year in the US happens during the five-day Thanksgiving Day holiday with an estimated 38.5 million people travelling this year, while others stay curled up in front of the many specials -- sports, parades and traditional fare -- being broadcast on TV.

(Relaxnews) -

The biggest travel weekend each year in the US happens during the five-day Thanksgiving Day holiday with an estimated 38.5 million people travelling this year, while others stay curled up in front of the many specials - sports, parades and traditional fare - being broadcast on TV.

In 2009, the majority will travel by car, celebrating closer to home. Though there was a reported increase in air travel over 2008, indicating an improving economy, it is still 6.7 percent lower than the average air travel this weekend. People have pursued trains as an alternative, with Amtrak reporting an uptick in tickets this holiday.

Always falling on the fourth Thursday of the month, this Thanksgiving holiday brings families and friends together for a traditional meal, parade viewing - and football on television.

Besides New York City's 83rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade at 9 am EST on NBC, television specials usually include a Peanuts cartoon feature, such as A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and other holiday-oriented films. But the other big draw to the little screen is back-to-back football games.

On November 26, the football schedule fills the day as follows with half-time shows:

12:30 pm EST on FOX: Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
At halftime, Motown artists will perform classic hits in a 50th anniversary tribute

4:15 pm EST on CBS: Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys
At the halftime show, rock act Daughtry plays a set

8 pm EST on the NFL network: New York Giants vs. Denver Broncos

Many cities host parades, often sponsored by a business headquartered at the location and televised locally, such as Chicago's McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade, Philadelphia's IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Target's Holidazzle Parade in Minneapolis.

The Friday after Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday shopping season with some big chain stores opening at midnight.

RC

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