Thursday’s Messiy’s 95th Thanksgiving Day Parade will be markedly different from last year’s limited celebration, which was scaled back to just one building, with spectators discouraged from outside.
About 6,500 people will gather to work on this year’s parade, which will follow a 2.5-mile route through New York City, beginning on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and ending in downtown. Everyone who takes part in the show must be vaccinated, but there is no vaccination for spectators.
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s festivities.
How can I watch the march?
The TV show will air starting at 9 a.m. on NBC, Telemundo and Peacock’s streaming service.
The show, “The Day”, will be hosted by The Rocker, Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, which will end at noon.
Where is the march?
The show will begin at 9 a.m. on West 77th Street and Central Park West, but there will be limited public viewing, or none at all, at this location.
Many fans will arrive along the way as early as 6am for venues with unobstructed views of the performers. Best places to see the show include Central Park West from West 75th to West 61st Street, and Sixth Avenue from West 59th to West 38th Street.
You can find a detailed map of the route here.
Who will be on the show?
The show will star John Baptiste, Kelly Rowland, Nellie, Mickey Gayton and Carrie Underwood.
Some of the younger participants will include the Ballet Hispanico School of Dance, the New York City Youth Choir and a group of competitive jump ropers. Ten high school and college marching bands – including the Hampton University Marching Force – will also fill the streets. (Children under 12 will not be allowed to participate in the same show this year but will be allowed as spectators.)
There will also be 15 giant balloons and 28 floats. Some airships will be as tall as four-story buildings or as wide as six taxis.
A balloon resembling Grogu – a character from “The Mandalorian” aka Baby Yoda – will fly over the parade on Thursday, the first time a “Star Wars” balloon will be part of the festivities.
Ada from Netflix “Ada Twist, Scientist” It will also debut in balloon form this year. The length of the pencil tucked behind her ear is 27 real pencils.
Pokémon celebrates its 25th anniversary with a new balloon of Pikachu and his friend Eevee sitting on a sleigh – its blades are about the same length as a semi-trailer truck.
While McDonald’s has had a Ronald McDonald balloon in display since 1987, this year it will be releasing a new design. This Ronald McDonald balloon will carry a giant red heart.
Macy’s website reads: “Ronald shares his heart with us at a time when we all need some extra love.”