The World Famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® Celebrates 90 Years

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17 November 2016
The World Famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®
Courtesy of NBCUniversal
The World Famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®
Parade Airs Thursday, November 24 LIVE at 9 a.m.–Noon (All Time Zones)
With an Encore Presentation Set for 2-5 p.m.
on NBC
          This November, America’s favorite holiday tradition will mark a milestone anniversary, once again kicking off the holidays with its signature brand of magical entertainment. On Thursday, Nov. 24, (9 a.m.-noon in all time zones), the 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® will march down the streets of New York as millions celebrate with family and friends. Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker of NBC’s “Today” will host the broadcast. In addition, Telemundo will simulcast the parade in Spanish with the event hosted by stars Jessica Carrillo and Carlos Ponce.

          The unparalleled spectacle is set to enthrall more than 3.5 million spectators lining the streets of Manhattan and more than 50 million viewers on television, with a host of giant character balloons, dazzling floats, the nation’s best marching bands and performance groups, celebrities, and the official entrance of the one-and-only Santa Claus.


          The 90th procession will feature a star-studded cast who will celebrate the holiday with America, giving fans along the route a thrilling moment with their favorite performers along with providing the nation with first-class performances. Joining the festivities this year are Kelsea Ballerini, Tony Bennett, Aloe Blacc, Chloe x Halle, Easton Corbin, Daya, De La Soul, Diamante Eléctrico, Brett Eldredge, Fitz & the Tantrums, Christopher Jackson, Johnnyswim, Sandra Lee, Maddie & Tae, Sarah McLachlan, NHL legends Adam Graves and Eric Lindros, Ben Rector, Regina Spektor, the cast and Muppets of “Sesame Street,” Sprout’s Chica, Timeflies, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Michelle Carter, Laurie Hernandez and Claressa Shields, U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalists Mikey Brannigan and Gianfranco Iannotta, Grace VanderWaal and Jacob Whitesides, among others.

          As the Parade gears up to takes its 90th march down the streets of Manhattan, very special guests will take to the streets like they’ve taken the world by storm for decades. The iconic Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the rest of the Muppets will dazzle and delight millions of fans as they kick-off the celebration as only they can, with their signature musical and comedic revelry. Joining executive producer Amy Kule at the head of the Parade as she cuts the ribbon opening the march, will be U.S. Paralympic stars Tatyana and Hannah McFadden.
Joining the Parade as a signature element kicking off the holiday season will be the world-famous Radio City Rockettes®. The national broadcast would not be complete without showcasing the best theatrical productions. Set for 34th Street performances will be “Cats,” “Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical,” “Paramour” and “Waitress.” In addition, viewers will get a sneak preview performance from NBC’s “Hairspray Live!,” which premieres Wednesday, Dec. 7 (8 p.m. ET/PT).

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Photo: Eric Liebowitz/NBC
          “We’re thrilled to once again broadcast the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as it celebrates 90 incredible years of providing an unmatched spectacle for families across the nation,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs and Late Night, NBC Entertainment. “The 90th procession marks an extraordinary milestone in the history of the parade and New York City, and we can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season.”

          Since its origin in 1924, the Macy’s Parade has marked the official start of the holiday season, introducing a cherished march of magic that has dazzled generations of fans. For the 90th edition, the famed spectacle’s line-up 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.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade          Returning giant balloon characters Angry Birds’ Red, Sinclair Oil’s Dino™, The Elf on the Shelf®, Hello Kitty®, Ice Age’s Scrat and his Acorn, PADDINGTON™, Pikachu™, Pillsbury™ Doughboy™, Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, Ronald McDonald®, Skylanders® Eruptor, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Thomas the Tank Engine®. The returning balloonicles (a Macy’s Parade hybrid of cold-air balloon and vehicle) include the famed-spokesduck the Aflac Duck.

          This year four new floats will debut including The Aloha Spirit by King’s Hawaiian®, Building A Better World by Girl Scouts of the USA, Deck the Halls by Balsam Hill®, and Fun House by Krazy Glue®.

          The returning float roster includes 1-2-3 Sesame Street, At the Ball Game (Cracker Jack®), Big Apple (New York Daily News), Big City Cheer! (Spirit of America Productions), China’s Chengdu – Home of the Giant Panda (Sino-American Friendship Association), The Colonel’s Road Trip to NYC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), The Cranberry Cooperative (Ocean Spray®), Discover Adventure! (Build-A-Bear®), Free to Play (Sprout®), Frozen Fall Fun (Discover®), Girl-Powered Spinning Machine (GoldieBlox®), Heartwarming Holiday Countdown (Hallmark Channel), It’s All Rock & Roll (Gibson Brands®); Mount Rushmore’s American Pride (South Dakota Department of Tourism), On The Roll Again (Homewood Suites by Hilton®), Santa’s Sleigh, Snoopy’s Doghouse (Peanuts Worldwide), Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations (Domino® Sugar), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nickelodeon), Tom Turkey, Treasure Hunt (Pirate’s Booty®), and Winter Wonderland In Central Park (Delta Air Lines).

          Marching bands are a central piece of the Thanksgiving delights, bringing national excitement and hometown pride to the streets of the Big Apple, not to mention the musical beat to the holiday revelry. Twelve performance ensembles will take up the call of the baton and march down the streets of Manhattan, including Cary Senior High School (Cary, NC), Grain Valley High School (Grain Valley, Missouri), Greendale High School (Greendale, WI), Harrison High School (Kennesaw, GA), Hendrickson High School (Pflugerville, TX), Joe E. Newsome High School (Lithia, FL), Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States) led by 11-year-old junior drum major from Shaw University Timmy Richardson, Na Koa Ali`l Hawaii All-State Marching Band (Hawaii), NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY), Prospect High School (Prospect, IL), the United States Military Academy Band (West Point) and the West Virginia University Mountaineer Marching Band (Morgantown, WV).

          Specialty Parade entertainment always promises a unique, exciting, and sometimes humorous look at the nation’s finest performance groups. This year’s special groups include the high kicking Kilgore Rangerettes (Kilgore, TX), the dance stars of the world-renowned in-school arts education program, National Dance Institute (New York, NY), the Armenian folk dance group Sayat Nova Dance Company (Boston, MA) and the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees (Alameda, CA). Completing the performance groups are the Spirit of America Cheer and the Spirit of America Dance Stars, which both feature 550 of the nation’s best cheerleaders and most thrilling dancers.

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