Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is landing in New York City on Thursday. The annual tradition will kick off the holiday season as we celebrate Turkey time and prepare for Christmas.
Macy’s 91st Thanksgiving Day Parade will gather millions of people in the streets and also those watching the tradition through the TV. It will be aired on NBC on Thursday.
It’s Turkey time!
Yes, it’s that time of the year again. We’re all getting in the holiday mood, and there’s no better way to kick off the holiday season that Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
For nearly a century the annual event has gathered huge crowds of people in Manhattan to celebrate the holiday. Also, amazing us at the giant balloons which have become its trademark.
The event is the world’s largest parade. This year expects to bring together roughly 3.5 million people.
And when it comes to numbers the anticipated event will count on 8,000 along with 1,100 cheerleaders and dancers. More than 1,000 clowns; 12 marching bands and 6 performance groups.
As for the iconic balloons, there will be 17 giant characters balloons 28 legacy balloons. Balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 26 floats.
This year, four giant characters will make their balloon debut including Disney Frozen’s Olaf, Illumination presents Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, PAW Patrol and Jett from Super Wings.
Other balloons scheduled include the Pillsbury Doughboy, Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, SpongeBob SquarePants and Charlie Brown.
And also, five new floats will also debut, along with the already scheduled from Sesame Street, Tom Turkey and of course, Santa’s sleigh.
There will also be a special float commemorating the season of togetherness, featuring 125 Macy’s employees forming a one-of-a-kind cross-generation choir.
NBC will air the entire parade
The official event’s broadcaster, NBC, will be airing the parade entirely. Hosted by ‘Today’s’ Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker anchoring the broadcast.
As for performances, this year the list includes Gwen Stefani, Andy Grammer, 98 Degrees, Bebe Rexha, Flo Rida, Wyclef Jean, Patti LaBelle, and the Goo Goo Dolls are just a selection of the big names popping up along the avenues.
The Radio City Rockettes will also be there to kick up a good time and look out for musical performances from the casts of Broadway’s Anastasia, Dear Evan Hansen, and SpongeBob SquarePants.
Miss America Cara Mudd will also pop up for the holiday celebration.
Also, high school marching bands from around the country will be turning out to bring the beat.
Among them, Naples High senior Luis Nicacio and Royal Palm Academy eighth-grader Alexis Anand are about to live their dream of performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Nicacio raised more than $2,500 through his GoFundMe page to pay for the trip. He said the opportunity to represent Naples High School and Collier County at a national event watched by millions is humbling.
“Despite the fact that I won’t be with my family on Thanksgiving, I’m still very excited,” he said.
“It’s such an honor being a part of this band.”
The parade will kick off Thanksgiving morning at 77th Street and Central Park West, It travels down to Columbus Circle where it will turn onto Central Park South.
Once it reaches 6th Avenue it will turn south and march down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas to 34th Street. Where it will make its final turn towards Macy’s Herald Square and end at 7th Avenue.
A tradition’s making
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is definitely a holiday tradition for American families. While some others enjoy the parade in their home city, others watch it on TV and get in the spirit.
The tradition began in 1924, and it’s tied for the second oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the U.S., with the 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia being the oldest, dating back to 1920.
It all started when Macy’s original store on Sixth Avenue near 14th Street was called the “world’s largest store,” an entire city block with more than 1 million square feet of retail space.
In celebration, employees organized a Christmas parade in 1924 featuring “floats, bands, animals from the zoo and 10,000 onlookers,” according to a Macy’s history page.
According to reports, the parade started way up at 145th Street and concluded with Santa Claus and the unveiling of the store’s Christmas windows.
Three years later, the Christmas Parade was renamed the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
While the tradition has changed from Christmas parade to Thanksgiving parade, some things stuck. Like the ballon attractions that debuted in 1927.
From that moment popular characters have been part of the parade. Including Felix, the Cat was there from the beginning, and Mickey Mouse joined in 1934. “Peanuts” characters, especially Snoopy who made his first appearance in 1968 — are regular visitors.
At first, the balloons were originally allowed to float away and those who found them got a gift certificate from Macy’s, which naturally didn’t stick.
The parade was first broadcasted via radio, starting in 1932. Then in 1946, it was televised in New York, and in 1947 nationally by NBC.