Tradition is at the helm of Thanksgiving, what with all the legends we're taught about the pilgrims and Native Americans, the turkey (which, does anyone even like?), family gatherings, and, of course, tuning into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the holiday morning, just after you begin dinner preparations. Though much has changed about the way we celebrate Thanksgiving since 1924, the Macy's parade and all of its inflated glory has remained an immutable pillar since its beginnings nearly a century ago. Ahead are all of the must-know details about the celebration to help you plan the ultimate parade-watching experience for yourself this year.
The beloved parade is back for its 93rd year on Thursday, November 28 at 9 a.m. in New York City. If you don't feel like making the trek, it's broadcasted on NBC with hosts Al Roker, Hoda Kotb, and Savannah Guthrie from 9 a.m. until noon.
The parade begins at West 77th St. and Central Park West, and ends at 34th St. Herald Square. The best viewing spots are Central Park West from West 75th to West 59th Streets and 6th Avenue from West 59th to West 38th Streets. In our opinion, the best viewing spot is from the couch, pumpkin pie in hand (yes, for breakfast).
The infamous Snoopy balloon got a makeover this year, and it's, dare we say, out of this world. Astronaut Snoopy is making his debut as the 8th version of the original Schulz character. The Smokey the Bear balloon is back for the first time since 1993, for his 75th anniversary. Other noteworthy balloons include Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, our favorite holiday antagonist; Elf on the Shelf, to prompt parents everywhere to start thinking of ideas; Olaf from Frozen, the cutest animated character; Pillsbury Dough Boy, to remind us about carbohydrates; and Pumpkins, because Macy's needs at least one autumn-themed balloon for the Thanksgiving parade.
Perhaps the most fun to look at are the intricately detailed Macy's Thanksgiving parade floats. This year, the float on our radar is the Toy House of Marvelous Milestones, presented by New York Life, which is brand new to the parade in 2019. The float uses paper dolls to highlight special milestones celebrated in American culture, like graduation, marriage, retirement, and...Thanksgiving dinner. Some tried-and-true favorite floats are back again this year, like Christmas Cheer is Near, Deck the Halls, Mount Rushmore's American Pride, Snoopy's Doghouse, Tom Turkey, and some personal favorites including the Rocking Flamingo and Rocking Lobster.
- Awesome Second Time Arounders Marching Band: New Port Richey, Florida
- Blue Springs High School: Blue Springs, Missouri
- Catalina Foothills High School: Tucson, Arizona
- Franklin Regional High School: Murrysville, Pennsylvania
- Macy's Great American Marching Band: Nationwide
- Madison Central High School Band: Richmond, Kentucky
- Martin Luther King Jr. High School: Lithonia, Georgia
- Morgan State University: Baltimore, Maryland
- NYPD Marching Band: New York, New York
- Ronald Reagan High School: San Antonio, Texas
- Western Carolina University: Cullowhee, North Carolina
- 610 Stompers
- Alvin Alley
- Big Apple Circus
- Spirit of America Dance Stars and Cheerleaders
A number of stars are taking part in the parade this year, including Ciara, Idinal Menzel, Lea Michele, and Debbie Gibson. Miss American 2019 Nia Franklin and former NASA astronauts Kay Hire and Janet Kavandi will also be in attendance. Also on the lineup: the cast of Sesame Street, Natasha Bedingfield, and Chris Young.
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