What you should know about the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Posted On Wed, November 23, 2022 By

Posted On Wed, November 23, 2022 By In Events, holidays

Photo by Anthony Quintano on Flickr

Kicking off the holiday season, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns this Thursday. The 96th annual event will feature 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 40 inflatables, 700 clowns, 12 marching bands, 10 performance groups, and of course, one Santa Claus. Ahead, find out what you need to know about this year’s parade, from the lineup and the best in-person viewing spots to street closures and how to watch the festive procession at home.

“Since its first march in 1924 through the decades, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has served to bring joy to the millions who gather nationwide each year to experience it with family and friends,” Will Coss, executive producer of the parade, said.

“This November, as we once again set the stage for the start of the holiday season, we are thrilled to showcase another spectacle full of magic and wonder that will help create everlasting memories with loved ones during this special time of year.”

The parade route and best spots for public viewing
The parade kicks off on Thursday at 9 a.m. at 77th Street and Central Park West, moving down its traditional 2.5-mile route to Columbus Circle, turning onto Central Park South, and then parading down 6th Avenue. Upon hitting 34th Street, the parade makes its final turn onto 7th Avenue and ends in front of Macy’s Herald Square.

For great views, Macy’s recommends arriving bright and early at 6 a.m. on the west side of Central Park West, from West 75th Street to West 61st Street. The public can also watch the parade along 6th Avenue from West 59th to West 38th Streets.

See an interactive map from Macy’s here, which also marks places for coffee, bathroom, and food breaks.

Balloons
A symbol of the parade, the giant character balloons (which are the same height as a four-story building) are always a fan favorite. This year, you’ll see classic balloons returning, including Astronaut Snoopy by PEANUTS Worldwide, Chase from Paw Patrol, Papa Smurf from The SmurfsRonald McDonald by McDonald’s, SpongeBob SquarePants and Gary by Nickelodeon, and others. New giants joining the line-up this year include Bluey by BBC Studios, Diary of A Wimpy Kid by Abrams Books, DINO and Baby DINO by Sinclair Oil, and Stuart the Minion from Illumination.

Just in time for the World Cup, there’s a new “balloonicle” of Striker, the U.S. Soccer Star by FOX Sports. Other inflatables include Hot Air Dolly by Universal Orlando Resort, Smokey Bear, by the USDA Forest Services, and Macy’s reindeer Tiptoe and Toni the Bandleader Bear.

Floats
Of the 28 floats in this year’s parade, five of them are making their debut, including floats featuring Baby Shark, Geoffrey from Toys “R” Us, a giant walking bed from the Netflix film Slumberland, and more.

Entertainment and performers
This year, enjoy performances from Ballet Hispánico, Big Apple Circus, Boss Kids, Fusion Winter Guard, Kilgore Rangerettes, Phantom Limb, The Sigma Gamma Rho Centennial Steppers, the St. John’s Dance Team, Spirit America Cheer, and marching bands from across the country. A host of celebrities will be in attendance as well, including Paula Abdul, Blanco Brown, Gloria Estefan, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Fitz and the Tantrums, Sean Paul, Jordin Sparks, Dionne Warwick, and more.

How to watch at home
For those watching from the couch, the parade will be shown on NBC and Telemundo from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with streams available on Peacock as well. Typically, 50 million people tune in.

Street closures
Mass transit is always recommended on gridlock days, especially as several streets surrounding the parade route will be closed starting Wednesday. According to the NYPD, the street closures are as follows:

  • Broadway between West 34th Street and West 41st Street- Midnight to 1 p.m.
  • 6th Avenue between West 23rd Street and West 42nd Street – 2 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 7th Avenue from West 34th Street and West 42nd Street – 2 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • West 34th Street between 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue – 10 p.m. (Wed) to 5 p.m.
  • West 59th Street E/B between 7th Avenue and Central Park West – Midnight to 2 p.m.
  • West 59th Street W/B between 5th Avenue and Central Park West – 2 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • West 35th Street between 5th Avenue and 8th Avenue – 2 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • West 36th Street between 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue – 2 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • West 37th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue – 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • West 38th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue – 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • West 8th Avenue between 34th Street and 40th Street – 4 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Broadway between 38th Street and 59th Street – 4 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • West 33rd Street between 7th Avenue and 10th Avenue – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • West 39th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • West 40th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • West 49th Street between 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • West 50th Street between 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Central Park 65th Street/ West 66th Street Transverse Roads 7 a.m. until conclusion

From 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. vehicles will not be able to access:

  • 6th Avenue between West 33rd and West 59th Street
  • 8th Avenue between West 57th Street and West 59th Street
  • 8th Avenue between West 33rd and West 40th Streets
  • Broadway between West 59th Street and West 57th Street
  • Broadway between West 34th and West 40th Streets
  • West 42nd Street between 5th and 8th Avenue
  • West 57th Street between 5th and 8th Avenue

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