This Thanksgiving, a magical march returns to the streets of New York City and to homes across the United States as the 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the holiday season with its signature spectacle of wonder. On Thursday, November 23, the streets of Manhattan will come alive at the sound of “Let’s Have A Parade!” Ready to spread holiday cheer, the annual procession is sure to delight more than 3.5 million spectators and more than 50 million viewers nationwide with its traditional merriment.
“For more than 90 years, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has signaled the start of the holiday season for millions of families. We are thrilled to once again come together as a nation to give this gift of joy and wonder to all,” said Susan Tercero, group vice-president of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Our incredible team has planned a fantastic spectacle featuring an amazing line-up of giant character balloons, floats of fantasy, the nation’s best marching bands, and performance groups, a dazzling array of musical artists, all coming together to herald the arrival of the one-and-only Santa Claus.”
Since the first march in November of 1924, the Macy’s Parade has captivated audiences and become synonymous with the start of the holiday season. For the 91st edition, the line-up will feature 17 giant character balloons; 28 legacy balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 26 floats; 1,100 cheerleaders and dancers; more than 1,000 clowns; 12 marching bands and six performance groups.
Taking to the streets of New York City on board one of Macy’s signature floating stages, and thrilling the nation with their performances at Herald Square will be 98 Degrees, Lauren Alaina, Cam, Sabrina Carpenter, Andra Day & Common, Sara Evans, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Flo Rida, Goo Goo Dolls, Kat Graham, Andy Grammer, Angelica Hale, Olivia Holt, Nicky Jam, Wyclef Jean, Bravo’s Top Chef stars Padma Lakshmi & Tom Colicchio, Dustin Lynch, Miss America 2018 Cara Mund, Leslie Odom Jr. and the cast & Muppets of Sesame Street, Bebe Rexha, Smokey Robinson, Jojo Siwa, and more.
Taking flight on Turkey Day will be the Parade’s signature giant character helium balloons. Since their introduction in 1927, these giants of the sky have featured some of the world’s most beloved characters. This year, four giant characters will debut including Disney Frozen’s Olaf, Illumination presents Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, PAW Patrol, and Jett from Super Wings.
The balloon line-up will also feature the return of Harold the Baseball Player, a legacy Macy’s character prominently featured in Twentieth Century Fox’s iconic holiday film classic, Miracle on 34th Street. In celebration of the film’s 70th anniversary, the Harold heritage balloon has been recreated for this year’s Parade, painted in hues of black, white and grey, to look exactly as it did on-screen during a memorable scene in the 1947 film. In addition to Harold, the famed spokesduck, The Aflac Duck, will debut as an all-new balloonicle (a Macy’s Parade innovation of hybrid cold-air balloon and vehicle) and is sure to have fans quacking with joy and laughter down the route.
This year, five new floats will debut including Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s (Sara Evans), Harvest in the Valley by Green Giant (Lauren Alaina), Parade Day Mischief by Sour Patch Kids Candy (Nicky Jam), Shimmer and Shine by Nickelodeon (Jojo Siwa) and Universal Playground by Sprout (Angelica Hale). A special float by Delta Air Lines will also debut to commemorate the season of togetherness with the perfect gift of song, as more than 125 Macy’s employees gather to form a one-of-a-kind, cross-generational choir aboard the Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree.
Marching bands are a central piece of the Thanksgiving delights, bringing national excitement and hometown pride to the streets of the Big Apple, not to mention the musical beat to the holiday revelry. Twelve performance ensembles will take up the call of the baton and march down the streets of Manhattan. This year’s bands include Colony High School (Palmer, Alaska); Davis High School (Kaysville, Utah); Rosemount High School (Rosemount, Minnesota); West Harrison High School (Gulfport, Mississippi); Rockford High School (Rockford, Michigan); Ohio University (Athens, Ohio); Nation Ford High School (Fort Mill, South Carolina); Trumbull High School (Trumbull, Connecticut); Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, Texas); The United States Air Force Band and Honor Guard; Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States); and the NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY).
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the nation’s biggest and most anticipated holiday celebration. Broadcast nationally on NBC, with millions of families nationwide tuning in to watch the excitement unfold, the TODAY Show’s Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker will host the three-hour broadcast from 9 a.m. – noon (in all time zones). In addition, Telemundo will simulcast the Parade in Spanish with the event hosted by stars Carlos Ponce, Jessica Carrillo and Karim Mendiburu.
On 34th Street, Broadway’s best shows will take a star turn in front of Macy’s famed flagship with special performances from the casts of Anastasia, Dear Evan Hansen, Once On This Island and SpongeBob SquarePants – The Broadway Musical. In addition, the show-stopping Radio City Rockettes will bring their signature high-kicking magic to Herald Square.
The 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin at 9:00 a.m. from 77th Street and Central Park West. The procession will march to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march 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.