A spectacle like no other returns this year as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® takes to the streets of New York City and ushers in the start of the holiday season.
The 95th march of the world-famous Parade of magic will bring the nation together in celebration and 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.
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 a.m.-12 p.m. in all time zones, and for the first time fans can also livestream coverage on Peacock. Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker from “Today” will host the three-hour telecast for NBC and Peacock. NBC will air an encore of the Parade from 2-5 p.m. ET.
The Spanish-language simulcast on Telemundo will be hosted by “En Casa con Telemundo’s” Ana Jurka and Carlos Adyan, accompanied by Freddy Lomelí live from Sixth Avenue, and feature a special appearance by current Miss Universe, Andrea Meza. For the first-time ever, spectators enjoying the Parade on television and Peacock will experience several whimsical augmented reality effects throughout the show that will add another dose of Macy’s magic to the spectacle.
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 Camille Schrier, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street®, Nelly, Kim Petras, Kelly Rowland, Rob Thomas, Tai Verdes, Zoe Wees, and Tauren Wells; with an extra special appearance by Santa Claus.
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.
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 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 returning 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 includesSinclair’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.
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 in order 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 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 (Dayton, 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.
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.
For more information on the broadcast, visit http://www.nbc.com/macys-thanksgiving-day-parade. Please follow @NBC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman serves as executive producer, Bill Bracken will co-executive produce and Ron de Moraes directs.
In order to create a more inclusive experience for blind and visually impaired viewers, NBCUniversal is proud to present the full NBC broadcast with live audio description on the Secondary Audio Program channel (SAP), provided by Descriptive Video Works. The broadcast will be available with additional audio narration, describing the rich visuals of the Parade.
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. In addition, Macy’s took added health and safety precautions as previously communicated to safeguard its staff and participants.