The 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday is very different from last year’s limited celebration. Last year’s limited celebration was reduced to one block, and no spectators came out.
About 6,500 people will gather at this year’s parade, following a 2.5-mile route through New York City from Manhattan’s Upper West Side to Midtown. Everyone who participates in the parade must be vaccinated, but spectators do not have vaccination requirements.
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s festival:
- 1 How can I watch the parade?
- 2 Where is the parade?
- 3 Who will participate in the parade?
- 4 what’s new?
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How can I watch the parade?
The parade will air on NBC, Telemundo and Peacock Streaming Services from 9am.
The “Today” show will be hosted by Al Roker, Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie and will end at noon.
Where is the parade?
The parade begins at 9am on West 77th Street and Central Park West, where public access is restricted or not visible at all.
Many fans arrive at the route as early as 6am and find spots to enjoy the unobstructed views of the performers. The best places to watch the parade are Central Park West from West 75th Street to West 61st Street and Six Avenue from West 59th Street to West 38th Street.
A detailed map of the route can be found here.
Who will participate in the parade?
Performers in the parade include Jon Batiste, Kelly Rowland, Nelly, Mickey Guyton and Carrie Underwood.
Among the young participants are the Ballet Hispaniko Dance School, the New York City Youth Choir, and a group of competitive rope jumpers. Ten high school and college marching bands, including the Hampton University Marching Force, also fill the streets. (Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to participate in this year’s parade itself, but are allowed as spectators.)
There are also 15 giant balloons and 28 floats. Some balloons are four-story buildings or six-wide taxis.
A Grogu-like balloon-the “Mandalorian” character, also known as Baby Yoda-will fly over the parade on Thursday. For the first time, the “Star Wars” balloon will be part of the festival.
Ada from the Netflix show “Ada Twist, Scientist” I will make my debut with a balloon this year as well. The pen hidden behind her ears is the length of 27 real pens lined up.
Pokemon is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pikachu and his friend Eevee’s new balloon sitting on a sled about the same length as a semi-trailer truck.
McDonald’s has had a Ronald McDonald’s balloon in the parade since 1987, but this year it will debut a new design. Ronald McDonald’s balloons hold a huge red heart.
“Ronald shares his heart with us when we all need special love,” the Macy’s website reads.