Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Marks Its 90th Anniversary
BY Steven Thomas - November 15, 2017
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will mark a milestone anniversary on Thursday, Nov. 24th, it’s 90th year of signature magical entertainment since its first march in 1924. The parade will march down 6th avenue towards Herald Square, while more than 3.5 million spectators line the streets of Manhattan and more than 50 million viewers on television. The 90th parade will have a line-up that will feature 16 giant character balloons; 27 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles and trycaloons; 26 floats; 1,100 cheerleaders and dancers; more than 1,000 clowns; and 16 marching bands and performance groups. With more than 8,000 volunteer participants, this tradition was started by Macy’s employees who wanted to celebrate the holiday season with a grand pageant similar to the over-the-top carnivals and festivals of Europe. The first Parade featured fanciful floats, employee marching bands, clown groups and real animals from the Central Park Zoo, which were replaced by its first inflatables in 1927, debuting four giant balloons filled with air and carried on sticks down the route. As the Parade gears up to take its 90th march down the streets of Manhattan, a star-studded cast will take to the streets to celebrate the holiday with America, with performances and appearances this year by: Kelsea Ballerini; Tony Bennett; De La Soul; Brett Eldredge; Sarah McLachlan; NHL legends Adam Graves and Eric Lindros; the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street; U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Michelle Carter and Laurie Hernandez; U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalists Mikey Brannigan, Gianfranco Iannotta; Grace VanderWaal; and Jacob Whitesides, among others– and of course, the one and only Santa Claus. In its 90th year, there are three new giant characters that will take center stage including the return of Peanuts famous blockhead Charlie Brown and a colorful and whimsical Diary of A Wimpy Kid®, as well as the stars of DreamWorks’ Trolls in a multi-character balloon. Also featured is the return of the Parade’s first balloon star as DreamWorks Animation’s Felix the Cat as he first appeared, carried on sticks, mimicking his debut appearance in 1927. The nation’s biggest and most anticipated Thanksgiving celebration, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, can be experienced across the country, with the Macy’s Parade Time Traveler app, available for free on the iTunes® App Store or from Google Play and by visiting social.macys.com/parade. Fans can interact with the Parade’s magical history from three different eras. Fans can use their smartphone’s camera to transport themselves to Parade’s past from the 1930s, 1960s and 1980s in amazing live-action virtual reality. The 90th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin at 9 a.m. from 77th Street and Central Park West. But if you’re planning to watch it in-person, crowds start to line the streets as early as 5AM-7AM in anticipation for the amazing spectacle. Of course the best seats in the house to witness the first-class performances in front of the Macy’s building are your own warm and toasty couches at home. The procession will march to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas to 34th Street. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square. Be sure you don’t miss this truly remarkable event, “A Holiday Treat for Children Everywhere” and everyone.