This years Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be sure to impress

It seems that with the end of Halloween, an intense anticipation for the festive Christmas season is on the rise.  People tend to overlook a notable holiday coming up this very month: Thanksgiving.  This year, Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, Nov. 24.  The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which began in 1924, is a well-recognized and highly-anticipated tradition honoring this holiday, and Macy’s is excited to present the 96th edition of the parade on Thanksgiving morning. 

            “Since its first march in 1924 and 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 friends and family,” said Macy’s executive producer Will Coss in a statement on the official Macy’s Inc. website.      

              Audiences can expect a wonderful and creative spectacle to kick off this holiday season lasting three hours along the busy streets of Manhattan.  The parade consists of various forms of entertainment including signature enormous floats, balloons and balloonicles, a long lineup of performances from Broadway stars and pop artists, marching bands, and various performance groups.

“I would say the performances and dancing are my favorite part  because it’s honestly very fun to watch and you feel like you’re watching an interesting show of like talent and not just a parade,” said sophomore Bella Sinclair.  

               The parade appeals to a diverse audience because of its variety of showcases.   This year’s  Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will include 30 floats, seven balloonicles, and 27 balloons.  Among the balloons and floats are recurring classics, such as Macy’s Tom Turkey, Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants, Peanut Worldwide’s Astronaut Snoopy, and, of course, the iconic grand finale of Macy’s Santa Sleigh.  The Santa’s Sleigh float has brought the parade to a close every year since its creation in 1924.  

              “The Santa’s Sleigh float has got to be my absolute favorite,” said sophomore Evangelia Sfiroudis. 

            There are  seven balloonicles, original creations made specifically for the parade that refer to a balloon that is moved along the length of the parade by a machine inside, which include Fox Sport’s Striker the U.S. Soccer Star, Sinclair Oil’s Baby Dinos, and Macy’s Bulldog.  The U.S. Soccer Star is the only new addition to the balloonicle portion of the parade.  However, there are four brand new floats making their debut on the morning of Nov. 24.  

          “I love seeing which cartoons and animals they create,” said senior Rianna Baecher.   

Toys’R’Us, a popular toy company, is introducing an exciting addition to the parade with Geoffery’s Dazzling Dance Party float, as is WonderBread with the fantastical Wondership, PinkFong with Baby Shark, and Netflix’s supersized slumber.  Other floats and balloons to look forward to are McDonald’s big red shoe car, Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues, and Lifetime Channel’s Christmas in Town Square.  Dancing is prevalent due to the ten large performance groups such as Spirit of America Dance Stars, Spirit of America Cheer, and Saint John’s Dance Group.  Several of the groups consist of children  as young as nine. 

                   “The dancers are honestly so talented and I think it’s really cool that they have the opportunity to perform in front of such large audiences,” said Sophomore Bella Sinclair. 

           Another iconic and well-regarded aspect of the Macy’s Parade is the lineup of performances.  This year is bound to be outstanding with 12 special performances from artists including Big Time Rush, Fitz and the Tantrums,  Gloria Estefan, Paula Abdul, Glee star Lea Michelle, and more.  Each artist will appear on a different float and sing live for the audience.  However, viewers watching on NBC will listen to a pre-recorded version, as the broadcast does not typically use the live audio.  

“The music is the best part in my opinion, especially when there are singers that I know and like,” said Junior Alexia Dommel.  

                  As for marching bands, there will be 12 performances, including Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction coming from Colombia, SC, and Bourbon County H.S. Marching Colonels from Paris, KY.  Beginning at 9 a.m. the parade’s starting point is at West 77th Street and Central Park West and will make its way down to 6th Avenue and 34th Street, stretching 2.5 miles, all accessible for public viewing.  Due to its immense popularity, a large crowd is inevitable, but the towering floats can be viewed from great distances

              “I remember seeing it once in person when I was younger, and the crowds were kind of overwhelming, especially as a little kid.  But it was overall a positive experience I would say, and I do recommend people see it live at least once if they can,” said Junior Alexia Dommel. 

             If you wish to avoid the crowd while still enjoying the majestic parade, the entire show is broadcasted live on NBC rendering it accessible to people who cannot make it all the way to Manhattan or would simply rather watch from the comfort of their own home.  NBC will additionally stream an encore telecast ending at 2 p.m.