The 97th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place on Thursday, with over three million spectators expected to brave the early-morning cold for a view of the procession’s many floats, balloons and celebrity performers.
This year, NBC has moved the broadcast up a half-hour to an 8:30 a.m. start. There will also be additional cameras stationed along the route for new angles of SpongeBob, Ronald McDonald and Bluey.
Who will broadcast the event?
The broadcast will air on NBC and livestream on Peacock beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker of the “Today” show will host the broadcast of the event, which ends at noon.
Where is the parade?
The parade follows a 2.5 mile route from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Macy’s flagship store, beginning at West 77th Street and Central Park West and ending at Herald Square. Public viewing is not available at all areas along the route; the best spots are along Central Park West between West 75th and West 61st Streets, and along Sixth Avenue between West 59th and West 38th Streets. Spectators arrive as early as 6 a.m. to snag the best vantage points.
You can find a detailed map of the route here.
Who will be in the parade?
This year’s parade performers include the jazz musician Jon Batiste, who was just nominated for six Grammys, and Cher, who recently released a holiday album. Also performing on floating stages will be the country singer Jessie James Decker, the vocal group Pentatonix and the R&B singer Brandy.
Other notable guests include Grace Stanke, this year’s Miss America; Jordan Chiles, an Olympic gymnast; and Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells of the new Broadway show “Gutenberg! The Musical!”
There will also be 11 marching bands making their way down the parade route, including the Marching Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s Eagle Regiment and the O’Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers.
The festivities will feature 31 floats, 25 balloons and six self-powered “balloonicles.”
In addition to this year’s new start time and added cameras, the parade will feature six new balloons, including the Pillsbury Doughboy, Po from the animated movie “Kung Fu Panda” and Snoopy, dressed as a “beagle scout.”
There will also be six new floats, including a “Camp Snoopy” design and one inspired by Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in the upcoming “Wonka” film.