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Businesses hopeful as hundreds expected in uptown Charlotte for Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 11:13 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - With the annual Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade set to roll through uptown Charlotte on Wednesday, businesses in the area are optimistic.

”I’m ready for tomorrow. We make a lot of prep for tomorrow and I’m going to ask for more people to help me,” said Saad Alkahlout, manager Chex Grill & Wings in Uptown.

Many businesses like Chex Grill & Wings and The Bella Ciao rely on foot traffic. Hundreds are expected to watch the parade in Uptown Charlotte.

”That’s definitely going to make us slammed tomorrow. We’re fully staffed and waiting for everybody to come in,” said Roxzy Payne, front house manager at The Bella Ciao.

Organizers tell WBTV that was part of the plan to shift the parade from Thanksgiving to the day before all in hopes to get families inside local businesses.

“You know, it’s something we’ve been talking about for years, and we just, we just knew that there was a, there was gonna be different energy if we put it to the night before. We create a little economic development effort, you know, behind this now, because we’ve got all these bars and restaurants and night, places that have been really suffering,” said Robert Krumbine from Charlotte Center City Partners. “And everybody wants to get out, you know, you’re bringing in family, you’ve got people coming in. They’re all arriving on Wednesday, and then they’re waiting for the big day. But what do they do? So here we go.”

Related: 75th Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade will ‘illuminate’ Charlotte at night

The parade will feature floats, high school marching bands and special performances. It is free to attend.

”There is no shopping mall around here. So, during the Thanksgiving and Christmas, everybody is shopping to get gifts and presents and we kind of miss that foot traffic so tomorrow is going to be a really great day for us,” said Payne.

They remain hopeful, even with the COVID-19 pandemic playing Grinch.

”For tomorrow, I’m sure it’s going to be busy,” added Alkahlout.

You can watch the parade live Wednesday at 6 p.m. on WBTV.

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