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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Everything You Need to Know

Only three days remain until Macy’s hosts its annual holiday tradition, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, held on Nov. 28 this year.

Since 1924, millions of locals and visitors have made their way to the heart of New York City to take in the festive floats, lively marching bands and world-class performers that participate in the iconic event.

This year, the retailer’s turkey day festivities kick off at 9 a.m. ET and culminate at Macy’s Herald Square flagship store, with some of the biggest names in entertainment and beloved balloon characters taking over the streets of New York City for a three-hour spectacular.

Roughly 3.5 million people are expected to line more than 40 blocks of 8th Avenue and 6th Avenue, and upwards of 50 million viewers will watch the parade on television.

“Each year we aim to create an even bigger one than the last,” executive producer Susan Tercero said in a statement.

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Here, FN rounds up the numbers that make up the storied Thanksgiving Day Parade.

History

  • The parade is now in its 93rd year. It was canceled in 1942, 1943 and 1944 during World War II.
  • The event celebrates 66 years with NBC as its official national broadcast partner.
  • Under Armour is the official outerwear provider of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Cost

  • 50,000-plus hours of labor from the Parade Studio team of about 27 painters, carpenters, animators, sculptors, welders, scenic/costume designers, electricians and engineers
  • According to a study overseen by online shopping site Ebates.com, the parade’s cost in 2016 was about $10.4 million to $12.3 million.

Parade Route

  • Inflating the balloons: Begins at 1 p.m. ET on the Wednesday preceding the parade and ends at 8 p.m. ET; takes place in the area surrounding the American Museum of Natural History.
  • Parade length: 2.5 miles
  • Start: 77th Street and Central Park West
  • Finish: 34th Street and Herald Square outside Macy’s

Entertainment

  • A-listers appearing or performing onboard floating stages include Ciara, Lea Michele, Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Kelly Rowland, TLC, Black Eyed Peas, Natasha Bedingfield and Miss America Nia Franklin.
  • 11 marching bands with about 2,793 total members
  • 10 performance groups, including 600 cheerleaders and 600 dancers from all over the country
  • Radio City Rockettes, who first performed in the 1957 parade
  • 4 Broadway musicals dating back to 1977
  • 100 choral singers
  • 1,000 clowns and 22 clown stilt walker units

Balloons and Floats

  • 16 giant character balloons and 40 novelty balloons
  • Five new floats will debut, including Rexy in the City by Coach
  • Tallest balloon: 62 feet (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
  • Longest balloon: 77 feet (Power Rangers Mighty Morphin Red Ranger)
  • Widest balloon: 39 feet (Jett by Super Wings)
  • Balloon handlers: 1,600-plus, with 90 handlers on average per giant balloon
  • 26 floats
  • Length and height of largest float: 60 feet long and 3.5 stories tall (Santa’s Sleigh)
  • Float escorts: 400

Want more?

How Macy’s, Target, Nordstrom and Kohl’s Are Performing Ahead of a Critical Holiday Season

How to Watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2019 + Everything You Need to Know

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Through the Years, From 1929–2018

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