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20 Thanksgiving Fun Facts & Stats [2023 Guide]

Written by: Aditya Rana

Nov 23, 2023

thanksgiving fun facts & stats [2023 guide]

Cold weather, travel, and lots of shopping means only one thing. Thanksgiving!

The end of November is a special time of feasting, football, fun, and a lot of quality time with family.

But once you’re done catching up and answering uncomfortable questions from that uncle or aunt, why not spice up the conversation with some Thanksgiving fun facts or Thanksgiving trivia?

Thanksgiving-themed topics like the origin of the holiday, favorite dishes, and events like the Macy Day Parade or NFL games are all ways to get everyone talking.

In this post, I’ll share some Thanksgiving trivia and facts you can use this holiday season.

By the way, creating Thanksgiving visuals to show gratitude are a holiday tradition but they can be a headache to get right if you’re not a designer.

Fortunately, Venngage lets you make Thanksgiving-themed visual content using a drag-and-drop editor tool or customize professionally designed Thanksgiving cards, Thanksgiving posters, Thanksgiving banners , and Thanksgiving invitations. No design experience required!

thanksgiving cards templates venngage

Related: 15+ Customizable Thanksgiving Poster Templates & Design Tips

Click to jump ahead:

Thanksgiving history facts


Thanksgiving dates back to 1621

Thanksgiving is celebrated in a few countries, but its origins trace back to Pilgrims and Native Americans in the US.

The first Thanksgiving feast was three days long

The first Thanksgiving spanned several days and the menu was quite different from what you might see on dinner tables today. It included venison, duck, goose, oysters, lobster, eel, and fish.

Thanksgiving became a holiday in 1863

Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863 in the midst of the Civil War in an attempt to foster a sense of American unity.

For Native Americans, it’s a day of quiet reflection and prayer

For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of personal reflection, acknowledging ancestors, and the ongoing resilience of their communities.

This is especially important to keep in mind for educators when teaching about Thanksgiving in classrooms.

Cultural Sensitivity Training for Teachers

293.3 million people will eat turkey this Thanksgiving

Here’s a thing to think about. Why did the turkey cross the road?

Because it heard that 293.3 million people were spending $1.28 billion just to catch a bite of it this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving football was initially a college tradition

Football and Thanksgiving dates back to 1876 with a game played by Yale and Princeton.

It wasn’t until 1934 that the Detroit Lions also began hosting a Thanksgiving Day game. A few decades later (1966 to be precise), the Dallas Cowboys also joined the party in 1966.

This year, there will be 3 games, with a special Black Friday game only streaming on Amazon.

Macy Day’s Parade wasn’t always about floats and balloons

When the parade first began in 1924, it featured live animals like camels, elephants, bears, and monkeys borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. These animals were part of the parade until 1927 when the introduction of large character balloons replaced them, starting with the famous Felix the Cat balloon.

This began the tradition of the iconic giant balloons. This switch was made partly because animals were frightening to some children, and the balloons were a entertaining alternative.





Thanksgiving foods

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if we didn’t mention the food!


46 million turkeys will be consumed over Thanksgiving

Remember those 293 million Americans eating turkey this year? They will gobble up an estimated 46 million turkeys.

Average cost of Thanksgiving dinner for is down this year

A classic holiday feast for 10 is expected to cost $61.17 this year. This is down considerably from 2022 when the same meal cost $64.05.

Average Thanksgiving meal contains 3,000 calories and 160 grams of fat

This estimate comes from the Calorie Control Council and covers just one serving at the dinner table. If you go back for a second serving of turkey and/or taters, expect another 500-1,000 calories on top.

The most expensive Thanksgiving dinner costs $181,000

Old Homestead Steakhouse in New York City offers the country’s most expensive Thanksgiving dinner for 12 people.

It includes:

  • Two 20-pound, free-range turkeys
  • Edible gold flakes
  • Imported saffron and other spices from the Middle East
  • Bread and pork stuffing made with sourdough bread from the UK, pork from Japan, and white truffles
  • Candied sweet potatoes cooked using cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Echire butter from France
  • Cranberry sauce concocted using strawberries from Japan, Mexico, and Canada and infused with a bottle of French wine





Thanksgiving shopping trends

After several years of the pandemic, this year’s Thanksgiving is likely to see many post-Covid highs.


82% of people plan to shop during Cyber Week 2023

Cyber Week normally runs from the day after Thanksgiving and includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

2.5x more people will shop online than in-person

Online shopping has been around forever, but most shoppers (68%) are now shunning the Black Friday experience of shopping in stores (just 27% of all shoppers will visit a store).

Online shoppers will largely visit Amazon, Target, and Walmart

The ecommerce giant and traditional retail stores will attract the most shoppers this year.

People shopping in stores physically will head to Target, Walmart, or Kohl’s

Shopping malls, Best Buy, Macy’s, Costco, and other giant retailers round out preferred destinations. Only 23% of these shoppers plan to visit a local business.

Only 18% of consumers are willing to wait more than 1 hour in line

Not long ago, many shoppers were happy to camp overnight to get a chance to grab the best deals but that’s no longer true.

With the chance of finding better deals online (and convenience too), shoppers are finally shunning the tradition of big crowds on Black Friday.

Sources: https://www.driveresearch.com/market-research-company-blog/black-friday-holiday-shopping-statistics/

Thanksgiving travel trends

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days in the United States, with millions hitting the road and airport to celebrate with family and friends.

And the 2023 travel season is expected to be the busiest yet after a long pandemic hiatus.


55.4 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days in the United States, with millions hitting the road and airport to celebrate with family and friends.

Warm destinations are all the rage

Florida is the top domestic travel destination while Mexico ranks high on international itineraries.

Daytime is the busiest on the roads

Between Wednesday and Sunday, expect peak traffic on the roads between 12pm-6pm.

3 million fliers expected on Sunday after Thanksgiving

Record passenger traffic is expected at airports nationwide on Sunday as people return home.




Thanksgiving cards examples

Now that you’ve seen read some cool facts and stats, let’s look at Thanksgiving content you can create with Venngage.

We particularly love this cute Thanksgiving card.


But if you want or need to be a little more adult, this Thanksgiving card is a good option.


You can get really personal too with your cards, like in this example.


Thanksgiving poster examples

If you want to make an announcement about a Thanksgiving event or gathering, a poster is always a good idea to grab attention.

This Thanksgiving celebration poster won’t be missed easily no matter where you put it.


This Thanksgiving poster is great if you want to stay on theme for the holiday.


Thanksgiving invitations

Thanksgiving invitations set the tone for a warm and welcoming gathering. Whether it’s a formal dinner or a casual potluck, we’ve got invitation templates the capture the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Here’s a great Thanksgiving invitation that creates a warm and cozy feeling.


If you want to make the invitation a little bit fun, this template won’t let you down.


Thanksgiving banners

Social media is intertwined into our lives and it wouldn’t be right to not share out gratitude there.

Here’s a great banner for social media featuring Thanksgiving-themed imagery.


This banner is great for Facebook.


Get the conversation rolling this Thanksgiving and show your gratitude with cards, posters, banners, invitations, and more

While trivia and fun facts are a good way to break the ice, it’s also a good idea to show your gratitude and give thanks to family and friends with Thanksgiving cards containing thoughtful messages.

Venngage makes that easy for you with an easy-to-use editor tool and professionally-designed customizable Thanksgiving cards templates, Thanksgiving poster templates, Thanksgiving banner templates, and Thanksgiving invitation templates.

Save money, time and stress by using Venngage.

About Aditya Rana

Adi is a word slinger and loves to fiddle around with SaaS. When not living online, you'll find him outside in nature with a book.