Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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.

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Events, holidays, maps

Map courtesy of Macy’s Inc.

The 95th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns on Thursday, welcoming the public back following a spectator-free event last year. The parade kicks off at 9 a.m. from 77th Street and Central Park West and moves down its traditional route, ending in front of Macy’s Herald Square. For those hoping to enjoy the parade in person, Macy’s released a helpful interactive map highlighting the 2.5 miles of public viewing. The map also notes where parade-goers can find coffee, food, and restrooms. Learn more

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Features, History, holidays

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Pilgrim balloon in 1946. Photo via Macy’s Inc.

There are many famous traditions synonymous with New York City, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is at the top of that list. The first parade marched down Broadway in the winter of 1924, and in the years since, it’s grown into an event with more than 3.5 million spectators. After a television-only event last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is returning this year with in-person spectators. Ahead, learn all about the parade’s 97 years and see some incredible archival photos.

This way for the full history

Events, holidays

macy's thanksgiving day parade, nyc thanksgiving, nyc parade

Photo courtesy of Macy’s, Inc.

After a television-only event last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is returning this year with in-person spectators. On Thursday, November 25, the 95th annual event will feature typical traditions, including the giant helium balloons, floats, and live performances, but with new health and safety protocols in place. Ahead, learn what to expect this year, from the full parade lineup and the best public viewing spots to how you can watch the signature character balloons inflate the night before.

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Events

macy's thanksgiving day parade, nyc thanksgiving, nyc parade

Photo courtesy of Macy’s, Inc.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a New York City tradition since 1924. In modern times, the event draws a live crowd of roughly 3.5 million and is made up of 8,000 participants, including performers, marching bands, dancers, and more. But those large numbers of people mean that this year’s pandemic-era parade will look a bit different. Macy’s announced in September that its 94th annual parade will be a television-only presentation with participant capacity reduced by 75 percent, a two-day staging, and balloons being flown by vehicles instead of the usual 80- to 100-person teams that corral each balloon. A New York Times feature today shared the happy news that actors from four shuttered Broadway shows will be performing.

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Events, holidays, maps

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Map via Google Maps/Macy’s

It’s almost time for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and with 2.5 miles of public viewing areas along the route this year, anyone eager to claim a good spot should be able to with a little planning. This interactive map put together by the parade organizers outlines the stretches that have the best views as well as all the areas that will be restricted to the public. The map also notes where you can find essentials like restrooms, coffee, and food.

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Events, holidays, Upper West Side 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Balloon inflation

Image by Phil Roeder via Flickr

If you can’t get enough of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, you can extend the festivities by attending the yearly Balloon Inflation event that takes place the day before Thanksgiving. On Wednesday, November 27 you’ll be able to see the balloons come to life as they get filled with helium outside the Museum of Natural History. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a first glimpse of the five new balloons debuting this year, including Love Flies Up to the Sky by artist Yayoi Kusama in partnership with Macy’s Blue Sky Gallery series.

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Featured Story

Events, Features, holidays

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Opening of the parade; photo courtesy of Macy’s, Inc

It’s turkey time! The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade hits the streets of Manhattan for the 93rd time on Thursday, Nov. 28. Since 1924, the parade has kicked off the holiday season each year with balloons, live performances, and a sense of cheer. If you’re going to be one of 50 million people watching the festivities from home, or joining the crowd of 3.5 million people attending, there are a ton of fun facts and figures to know ahead of time. From the number of marching band members (2,793) to the hours of work put in by Macy’s team pre-parade (50,000), learn the ins and outs of one of NYC’s greatest celebrations, by the numbers.

The full rundown

Featured Story

Features, History, holidays

Photo courtesy of Macy’s, Inc.

Since New York City invented the Holiday Season as we know it, it’s only fitting that this city kicks things off in fine form. Thankfully, the good folks at Macy’s have been doing just that since 1924, when they sent the very first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade sauntering down Broadway. The Parade has been synonymous with Thanksgiving for more than 90 years, and it has more secrets up its sleeve than it has balloons in the air. From “balloonatics” and “falloons” to the only time in history the parade was canceled, here are 10 things you might not know about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Float on!

Art, Events, holidays

Yayoi Kusama, macy's thanksgiving parade, events, art

Image: Business Wire

Work by Yayoi Kusama, the celebrated contemporary artist who gave us those famous polka-dot pumpkins and insanely popular Infinity Rooms, will be brightening the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Japanese artist’s creation, “Love Flies Up to the Sky,” will be part of the parade’s Blue Sky Gallery, a series of balloons that reflect art from the world’s best-known contemporary artists.

Inflatable art, this way

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