Mark your calendars! Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is back and bigger than ever! Read on for everything you need to know about the must-see extravaganza in New York City!
When is it?
Thanksgiving falls on Thursday November 24 2022 and the parade is scheduled from 9.00am - 12.00pm.
How many years has it been going?
This year marks the 96th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, so … a pretty long time!
What’s in the lineup?
Twenty-seven giant character balloons, seven balloonicles (a term invented by Macy’s!), 31 floats, 12 marching bands, 13 performers (including Joss Stone, Paula Abdul, Sean Paul and Jordin Sparks!), more clowns than you could possibly imagine, ten performance groups and more than 5,000 volunteers (phew!)! Jimmy Fallon and the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street will also appear.
What are some of the new characters I should look out for this year?
- Bluey by BBC
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Abrams Books
- Stuart the Minion by Illumination
- Pinkfong Baby Shark by Nickelodeon
What else can I expect to see?
Between giant novelty balloons of Snoopy, Sonic the Hedgehog, Spongebob Squarepants, Spiderman, Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty and Paw Patrol and the exciting debut of Grogu from The Mandalorian … a lot!
Do I need a ticket?
Nope! Anyone can join the 2.5-mile stretch of excitement!
Where are good spots to catch the action?
If you’re an early bird, we recommend getting to the west side of 75th street at 6.00am for some good seats (the east side is closed for grandstand seats).
Arrive no later than 7.00am for a prime spot at 6th Avenue (but avoid the stretch between West 38th and 34th and West 34th as this is where the national broadcast will take place.).
You’ll be able to see an elevated view from inside the shops at Columbus Circle (second and third floors specifically) - and stay warm while doing so!
Are there any COVID-19 regulations still in place?
Yes - you will need to present proof of a negative test before attending.
Will it be streamed?
Absolutely! You can watch Macy’s parade 2022 live on NBC that same day from 9.00am to 12.00pm EST. You can also stream it live on Peacock. Some parts will also be shown on CBS.
Do you have any tips?
Dress warmly and in layers - end-of-November weather in NYC is no joke! Also, if you can’t get enough of the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade, you can head to the American Museum of Natural History at 79th Street from 3.00pm - 10.00pm, where you can watch the balloons being inflated the night before!
What are some fun facts about Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade?
- It was originally called the Macy’s Christmas Parade as it acts as the city’s official holiday season kickoff.
- It was first held by Macy’s employees, who were largely immigrants wanting to celebrate Thanksgiving. They dressed up in costume and marched from 145th Street down to the department store along with bands, floats and borrowed animals from Central Park Zoo! Over a quarter of a million people attended!
- The iconic balloons were added in 1927, and if you have little ones, we highly recommend the fantastic picture book, Balloons Over Broadway, which is about the master puppeteer who invented the first balloons specifically for it!
- In 1928, the balloons burst moments after being released into the sky. After this, they were fitted with slow-release valves, allowing them to float for a few days until they eventually came down. They had return address labels on them and if you mailed one back to Macy’s, you got a gift!
- Mickey Mouse first appeared in 1934.
- It was suspended between 1942-1944 due to the rubber shortage caused by WWII.
- Actual footage of the 1946 parade was used in the 1947 movie “Miracle on 34th Street”.
- It was first broadcast on national television in 1948.
- If wind speeds are forecast to be over 34mph, all of the balloons are pulled out.
- It always ends with Santa Claus.
What can I look forward to after?
The Rockefeller Center Christmas lights are turned on just days after!
Happy Thanksgiving 2022!