Turkey Day is here, and with it comes the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — a tradition that is now on its 92nd year.
Since 1924, millions of locals and visitors have made their way to the heart of New York City to take in the larger-than-life character balloons, lively marching bands and world-class performers that participate in the iconic event’s festivities.
For those unable to travel to Manhattan, the parade is available to watch from the comfort of their own homes. More than 50 million viewers are expected to tune in to today’s NBC broadcast, with Hota Kotb marking her first year as host alongside veterans Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker.
Kicking off at 9 a.m. ET at 77th Street and Central Park West, the show’s lineup will introduce 16 giant character balloons, 43 other heritage balloons, 26 floats, 1,200 cheerleaders and dancers, upwards of 1,000 clowns and 12 marching bands. Longtime favorites Charlie Brown and The Grinch, as well as newbies like Saiyan warrior Goku from the Dragon Ball metaseries, are scheduled to glide down the parade.
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Among this year’s big names in music are John Legend, Rita Ora, Martina McBride, Ella Mai, Bad Bunny and Diana Ross. The Radio City Rockettes, which first performed at the event in 1957, will take the stage once again, while onlookers will be treated to sneak peeks of four Broadway musicals.
“This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will redefine spectacle with a jaw-dropping mix of must-see entertainment for millions of spectators,” executive producer Susan Tercero said in a statement. “[It] will once again herald the arrival of the holiday season.”
With more than 8,000 volunteers, the 2018 parade is a major collaborative effort, also involving more than 50,000 hours of work from a team of 27 painters, carpenters, animators, sculptors, welders, designers, electricians and engineers. (Fun fact: Nearly half a mile of steel was used for the creation of the Macy’s Singing Tree — the most ever sourced for a Macy’s parade float.)
Of course, no traditional American holiday event is complete without Santa Claus, who has closed every Macy’s parade with the exception of 1933 — the only time in which he led the official parade march.
The show ends at around noon in the Herald Square area. See the route map here.
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