A spectacle like no other returns this Thanksgiving to usher in the start of the holiday season as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® takes to the streets of New York City. On Thursday, November 25 at 9:00 A.M., the 95th march of the world-famous Parade of magic will bring the nation together in celebration featuring Macy’s (NYSE:M) signature mix of giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, incredible marching bands, jubilant performance groups, whimsical clowns, music stars and the one-and-only Santa Claus.
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95 and Marching On! The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® Ushers In The Holiday Season on Thursday, November 25 (Graphic: Business Wire)
“For more than nine decades, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has served to bring joy to millions, who gather with friends and family to experience this one-of-a-kind holiday celebration along the streets of New York City and in homes nationwide,” said Will Coss, Executive Producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “For our 95th celebration, Macy’s has created a spectacle to remember featuring a dazzling array of high-flying balloons, animated floats and incredible performers. We can’t wait to help New York City and the nation kick-off the holiday season with the return of this cherished tradition.”
The 95th annual Macy’s Parade will feature 15 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 36 novelty and heritage inflatables, more than 800 clowns, 10 marching bands and 9 performance groups, a host of musical stars, and the one-and-only Santa Claus.
To safely produce the annual Thanksgiving Day event, Macy’s once again partnered closely with the City and State of New York to create a production plan that would ensure health and safety practices aligned with CDC guidelines, as well as current local and state government protocols.
Stars on Parade
The Macy’s Parade is always the holiday’s biggest stage for entertainment and this year will be no different. Featuring a mix of musical genres from Pop and R & B to Country, Classic Rock and K-Pop, the Parade will be the ultimate television party destination this November. Joining the festivities will be aespa, Jimmie Allen, Jon Batiste, Blue’s Clues & You! host Josh Dela Cruz and the former hosts of Blue’s Clues Steve Burns and Donovan Patton, Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Jordan Fisher, Foreigner, the cast of Peacock’s Girls5eva (Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell, Busy Philipps), Andy Grammer, Mickey Guyton, Chris Lane, Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street®, Nelly, Kim Petras, Kelly Rowland, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood, Tai Verdes, Zoe Wees, and Tauren Wells; with an extra special appearance by the one-and-only Santa Claus.
Since 1927 the world’s most popular characters have been transformed into high-flying art in the sky. Inspired by marionettes, the Parade’s balloons first debuted as upside down puppets filled with air and carried on sticks, before taking flight with the addition of helium. Over time the inflatables morphed to encompass balloonheads, hybrid inflatables with vehicles inside (balloonicles) and tandem tricycles (trycaloons).
New giants joining the line-up this year include Ada Twist, Scientist by Netflix; a Funko Pop! inspired Grogu™ (a.k.a. Baby Yoda in pop culture) from the Star Wars™ series “The Mandalorian™,” Ronald McDonald® by McDonald’s® and Pikachu™ & Eevee™ by The Pokémon International Company.
Making return appearances to the skies above New York City are giant balloon favorites including Astronaut Snoopy by Peanuts Worldwide; The Boss Baby by DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures; Diary of A Wimpy Kid® by Abrams Books; Sinclair’s DINO® by Sinclair Oil Corporation; Goku by Toei Animations, Inc.; Chase from PAW Patrol® by Nickelodeon; Pillsbury Doughboy™ by Pillsbury™; Red Titan from “Ryan’s World” by Sunlight Entertainment and pocket.watch; Papa Smurf from The Smurfs by Nickelodeon; Sonic the Hedgehog by SEGA; and SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary by Nickelodeon.
The inflatable lineup also includes Sinclair’s Baby DINOs and the Go Bowling™ balloonicles; Smokey Bear by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service; and Macy’s very own special reindeer Tiptoe and Toni the Bandleader Bear.
A Giant Balloon Celebration
Macy’s signature giant character balloons will be prepared for their Thanksgiving Day flights on Wednesday, November 24, on the Upper West Side. The Macy’s Balloon Inflation Celebration will be open to public viewing from 12:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M., and will be limited to vaccinated guests and conducted with capacity limits to ensure social distancing practices are implemented.
For access, guests must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in the form of one of the following:
- Original CDC Vaccination Card
- Mobile Vaccination App (such as the NYC COVID Safe App, CLEAR Health Pass, NY State Excelsior Pass)
- Photo of their Vaccination Card
Guests must also provide a photo ID with a name that matches the proof of vaccination. A negative test will not be accepted in lieu of vaccinated status. Children under the age of 12 who are not eligible to receive vaccinations may be accompanied by a vaccinated adult. Attendees are encouraged to social distance and masks will be required at all times. Entry to Balloon Inflation can be accessed at 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue. Following the vaccine verification and security check, guests will be able to move through the checkpoint to view the balloons on 77th and 81st Streets.
Floats of Fantasy
From its inception, the Parade’s floats have transported spectators to magical worlds. These initial whimsical creations focused on nursery rhyme stories. Today the floats are multi-level animated wonders that dazzle with their artistry. Conceived and crafted by the incredible artisans of Macy’s Parade Studio – a design and production facility that includes carpenters, engineers, electricians, painters, animators, balloon technicians, sculptors, metal fabricators, scenic and costume designers – this year’s line-up of floats showcase the best of theatrical design. While they are built for entertainment, they are also a showcase of creative design, engineering, and skillful construction. To spectators they seem to float down the route, even though many are three stories tall and several lanes of traffic wide stages. However, if you dig a little deeper, the magic is revealed as each of these amazing floats are built to collapse to no more than 12 ½-feet tall and 8-feet wide to travel safely from the New Jersey home of the Parade Studio to the Manhattan starting line via the Lincoln Tunnel for the annual celebration.
This year six new floats will debut including Birds of a Feather Stream Together by Peacock® (cast of Peacock’s Girls5eva); Celebration Gator by Louisiana Office of Tourism (Jon Batiste); Colossal Wave of Wonder by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions (Nelly); Gravy Pirates by HEINZ; Magic Meets the Sea by Disney Cruise Line (Jordan Fisher and special guests); and Tiptoe’s North Pole.
The returning float roster and its scheduled performers include 1-2-3 Sesame Street® by Sesame Workshop™ (The cast and Muppets of Sesame Street); Big City Cheer by Spirit of America Productions (Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier); Big Turkey Spectacular by Jennie-O (Tai Verdes); Blue’s Clues & You! by Nickelodeon (Josh Dela Cruz, Steve Burns and Donovan Patton); The Brick-changer by The LEGO Group (Zoe Wees); Christmas in Town Square by Lifetime® (Kelly Rowland); Deck the Halls by Balsam Hill® (Kristin Chenoweth); Elf Pets® by The Lumistella Company; Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s® (Andy Grammer); Fantasy Chocolate Factory by Kinder™ (Darren Criss); Harvest in the Valley by Green Giant® (Jimmie Allen); Heartwarming Holiday Countdown by Hallmark Channel (Rob Thomas); Her Future is STEM-Sational by Olay (aespa); Home Sweet Home by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (Tauren Wells); Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree (Macy’s Choir); Mount Rushmore’s American Pride by South Dakota Department of Tourism (Chris Lane); Rexy in the City by COACH® (Kim Petras); Santa Express and Starflakes by Universal Orlando Resort; Santa’s Sleigh (Santa Claus); Tom Turkey; Toy House of Marvelous Milestones by New York Life (Foreigner) and Winning Winter Together by MassMutual and NHL® (Mickey Guyton).
As the Parade unfolds, making an extra special appearance down the route to delight kids of all ages will be Geoffrey, the beloved mascot of Toys"R"Us.
The Beat and the Pageantry
The nation’s best marching bands are ready to strike it up and bring the beat to the holiday revelry. Joining the line-up are The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders (Austin, TX), Brownsburg High School (Brownsburg, IN), Centerville High School (Centerville, OH), Hampton University (Hampton, VA), Lincoln-Way High School (Frankfort, IL), Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States), NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY), Trabuco Hills High School (Mission Viejo, CA), Union High School (Tulsa, Oklahoma), and University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL).
Taking entertainment to the next level will be the Parade’s beloved performance groups who bring joy to spectators along the route and viewers watching from home. The 95th Parade will feature the dazzling dancers of Ballet Hispánico’s School of Dance, the harmonious voices of the Broadway Education Alliance Youth Choir, the fancy footwork of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios, the special tributaries of Indigenous Direction, the out of the world skills of J.U.M.P. (Jumpers United for Macy’s Parade), the razzle dazzle of the St. John's Dance Team, the energetic Spirit of America Cheer and Spirit of America Dance Stars, and the moving voices of the Young People’s Chorus of NYC.
The Route to Magic
For spectators wishing to enjoy the spectacle live, the 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9:00 A.M., kicking off from its traditional starting line at 77th Street and Central Park West. From there the procession will march down its signature 2.5-mile route taking it from Central Park West to Columbus Circle, turning onto Central Park South and then marching down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square.
Public viewing will be set up along designated portions of the route and managed by the NYPD. Spectators should avoid bringing large bags, umbrellas, backpacks and strollers. The public entering viewing streets may be subject to security search. For additional viewing information, please visit macys.com/parade.
Tune-in for the Wonder
For decades, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been one of the nation’s most anticipated and watched holiday celebrations. Viewers nationwide can catch all the action via the special broadcasts on NBC and Telemundo, from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M., in all time zones, For the first time, fans can also stream the broadcast on Peacock. The TODAY Show’s Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker will host the three-hour telecast for NBC and Peacock. The Spanish language simulcast on Telemundo will be hosted by Ana Jurka and Carlos Adyan, accompanied by Freddy Lomelí reporting live from Sixth Avenue, and feature a special appearance by Miss Universe® Andrea Meza.
The holiday television special will feature a special performance from music superstar Carrie Underwood from her album, My Gift (Special Edition).
Broadway’s best musicals will also perform including SIX, Moulin Rouge! and one of Broadway’s longest running hits, Wicked; along with a sneak preview of NBC’s Annie Live! In addition, the show-stopping Radio City Rockettes® will bring their signature magic to Herald Square.
For the first-time ever, spectators enjoying the Parade on television and on Peacock, will experience several whimsical augmented reality effects throughout the show that will add another dose of Macy’s magic to the pageantry.
For an insider’s look at the holiday procession, fans nationwide should visit macys.com/parade for regular updates including behind-the-scenes previews, special tours, interactive historical information, educational activities, and more. Fans can also follow @macys on various social media networks and join the conversation using #MacysParade.
This Thanksgiving, Macy’s will safely bring millions of spectators nationwide a dazzling celebration like no other. Get ready to start the countdown in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Let’s Have a Parade™!
Hanes is the official mask of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Ram is the official truck of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Remo is the official drumhead provider of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Under Armour is the official outerwear provider of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
All information included in this release is subject to change.
PLEASE NOTE: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade media materials including images, video and archival content is available at macyseventmedia.com
Orlando Veras / Christine Olver Nealon