A year after going virtual, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is bouncing back in a big way. The parade returns to Manhattan later month with its pre-pandemic swagger and some new balloons and floats. The most anticipated coming from a galaxy far, far away.
“For our 95th celebration, Macy’s has created a spectacle to remember featuring a dazzling array of high-flying balloons, animated floats, and incredible performers. We can’t wait to help New York City and the nation kick off the holiday season with the return of this cherished tradition,” Will Coss, executive producer of the parade, said in a statement to ABC News.
This year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will include 15 giant balloons, 28 floats, 36 novelty inflatables, more than 800 clowns, 10 marching bands, and multiple performances. As always, Santa will also make his way to New York for the annual event.
But most important of all, crowds will be allowed to watch the parade in person. The streets were silent last year as the pandemic forced organized to live stream the event. Though, organizers will implement COVID-19 protocols to limit the spread of the virus.
The giant balloons are always some of the most beloved and anticipated participants in the parade. Expect to see some new faces floating above New York City this year. Those include Baby Yoda (real name Grogu) from The Mandalorian and Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee. Some of the returning floats include Astronaut Snoopy, Chase from Paw Patrol, Papa Smurf, and SpongeBob SquarePants.
An army of volunteers will pull those balloons along the two-and-a-half-mile parade route. Last year, trucks dragged a select few balloons down one block of 34th Street because the pandemic limited the number of participants.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9 a.m. ET, Thursday, Nov. 25.
Carrie Underwood Among the Performers at Thanksgiving Parade
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade always packs on the performers. And this year, organizers put together a stacked lineup.
Carrie Underwood, Kelly Rowland, Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen, Chris Lane, Nelly, rock group Foreigner, and many others will perform, according to the parade’s website.
Broadway will also join in on the fun. The parade will include select performances from the musicals Six, Moulin Rouge!, and Wicked. The Radio City Rockettes will also kick their way along the route.
“(The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is) back, and we’re excited to bring it back to the streets of New York City in its full form, in the way that audiences have grown to know and love us,” parade director Coss told USA Today. “It’s going to be a celebration of spectacle, a celebration of performance, a celebration of culture, a celebration of love. It’s going to be a really exciting day, and we’re really just elated to have the opportunity to bring it back in its true form.”