(Plymouth, MA) – The place where Thanksgiving got its start in America is gearing up for its annual celebration this weekend, with concerts, commemorations and other festivities surrounding Plymouth’s annual Thanksgiving Parade. The celebration takes place on Saturday, November 23, with Opening Ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. on Cole’s Hill. Then at 11 a.m. the Annual Thanksgiving Parade begins at the corner of Nelson and Court Street.

This year’s parade kicks off the official start of yearlong festivities of Plymouth’s quadricentennial, when Massachusetts marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims arrival on the Mayflower to form the Plymouth Colony. Plymouth 400 is the coordinating entity for a series of commemorative events througout 2020.

It was in Plymouth where the Pilgrims met the local Wampanoag people, who helped them survive through the first few winters through their generosity and giving. This act is what led to the celebration of Thanksgiving. Read about Jim Peters, head of the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs and a leader of the Wampanoag Nation.

Learn more about the Pilgrims and Wampanogs at Plimoth Plantation.

Regarded as one of America’s only historically accurate chronological parades, it visually bringing to life America’s rich heritage representing each century from the 17th through the 21st. In showing the preservation of America’s history through the years, beginning with the Pilgrim era, it promotes an appreciation of the town’s rich heritage, according to the organizers.

Ranked the #1 Thanksgiving parade in the nation by AOL, the parade features beautifully decorated floats, nationally recognized Drum and Bugle Corps, re-enactment units from every period of American history and military marching units.

Following the parade, Illuminate Thanksgiving goes from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is an official signature event of Plymouth 400, Inc. The event honors the Plymouth 400 theme of Thanksgiving and inspire communities to illuminate their lives and the lives of others. It begins with an inspirational program of music, live art, and a special candle lighting ceremony held at The National Pilgrim Memorial Meetinghouse/First Parish Church, 19 Town Square, Plymouth, and followed by a lighted procession to the Plymouth Waterfront for the main stage program and the “One Small Candle” Ceremony.

For more information about visiting Plymouth, go to DestinationPlymouth.

For details on visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.