Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade NYC

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Summary

Event Overview: Since 1927, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has enchanted spectators and television viewers with its impressive floats, professional bands, and oversized helium balloons. The annual event begins at 9am EST and ends at noon with an elaborate finale in which Santa himself announces the start of the Christmas season. Among those who performed in the 2010 parade were Kylie Minogue, Jessica Simpson, Gladys Knight, and India Arie.

What to Expect: Pomp and pageantry. In its modest eighty-four seasons, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has endeared itself to multiple generations of Americans, and now it is one of the most beloved and popular Thanksgiving Day parades.

  • Crowds: A typical Macy's Thanksgiving Parade features more than 3.5 million spectators and 10,000 participants. As you can imagine, the streets will be packed with people, and the skies with benevolent balloons.
  • Breathtaking Floats: There's no doubt about it: people watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the floats. Memorable appearances were made in the 2010 Macy's Day Parade by Mount Rushmore's American Pride, Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure, and Pokemon's Reshiram and Zekrom.
  • Live Performances: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is almost as famous for its live performances as it is for its impressive floats. In 2010, live NYC entertainment was provided by Kylie Minogue, Jessica Simpson, Gladys Knight, India Arie, and the nation's best marching bands.

Inside Knowledge: With a history dating back to 1924, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is tied with America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit for second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States (the oldest, incidentally, is the 6abc IKEA Parade in Philadelphia). The three-hour event is known for its floats, professional bands, and memorable balloons, which include representations of Shrek, Mickey Mouse, Spider-Man, SpongeBob SquarePants, Snoopy, and the Energizer Bunny. In 1982, the parade introduced the Olive Oyl balloon, the first to represent a female character. The first balloon, engineered in 1927 to replace the live animals that had participated in the parade, was Felix the Cat.

Event Hints:

  • Arrive Early: If you plan to attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in person, be sure to arrive one or two hours early to ensure that you get a good view. With 3.5 million people in attendance, "crowded" is an understatement.
  • Wear Warm Clothes: If you plan on arriving early, be sure to wear warm clothes, as early morning temperatures in late November are often low. You might even bring a thermos of hot cocoa or coffee (or tea, if you prefer).
  • Avoid Columbus Circle: Because Columbus Circle is relatively flat, and therefore susceptible to high winds, balloon teams race through the area. Consequently, balloon-watching here is often a disappointment.

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*Some images shown above are not actual photos from the venue, but category representations. Visit the hotel's web site for actual photos.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade



Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
77th St. & Central Park West
New York, US
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Event Date

Nov 26,2015

Event Cost


An iconic annual NYC event featuring floats, bans, impressive balloons and more.

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Event Quick Facts

  • Click here for a printable Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Route Map. 
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route is new and improved for 2015! The 2015 parade route begins at 77th Street and Central Park West, and then moves to Columbus Circle where it turns onto Central Park South. At 6th Avenue, the Parade goes from 59th Street to 34th Street, and end in front of Macy's Herald Square. The new route will include over 2 miles of public viewing space.
  • This family-friendly Thanksgiving event starts at 9am and ends at 12pm.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is held annually on Thanksgiving Day.


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