Every year, over two and a half million people line the streets of New York to watch the most spectacular holiday parade in history – The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 4000 people march their way among stunningly beautiful and intricately created balloons and floats for 2.5 miles through the streets of New York, before passing outside the city’s famous department store Macy’s. In fact, it was a handful of Macy’s employees who, in 1924, decided to entertain the crowds on New York’s streets with their impromptu parade down the avenue. Today, more than 50 million people watch this extravaganza on NBC television broadcasts throughout the day.
This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – the 81st – will take the usual route, beginning at Central Park West and 77th Street, proceeding to Columbus Circle and moving down Broadway. The parade finally turns at 34th Street, moves past Macy’s Herald Square and comes to a dramatic end at Seventh Avenue. As always, the event covers around three hours – beginning at 9 am and ending at 12 noon. Visitors are advised to get to the area very early (some even go around 6 am!) to get a good viewing spot, due to the popularity of this parade, and to dress appropriately as November can be quite chilly in New York.
This free parade is definitely one of the city’s most eagerly awaited events and will comprise 15 magnificent float-balloons called falloons that represent some of the more popular characters in contemporary media. In addition, more than 50 balloons will vie for the spectator’s attention. Traditionally, stars and celebrities take part in the parade, although they are usually outshone the sheer beauty of the event itself. Marching bands, clown groups and school bands will ensure that spectators are kept entertained for the entire event.
Click for the official site of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.