Broadway and performing acts set for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Broadway and performing acts set for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy's Great American Marching Band. Photo courtesy: Macy's, Inc.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is set to come roaring back after a more subdued presentation last fall. Now in its 95th year, the parade will once again welcome audiences in-person to line the streets of Manhattan as floats (and floating giant balloons), marching bands, musical performers and over 800 clowns make the two-and-half-mile trek.

“We can’t wait to help New York City and the nation kick-off the holiday season with the return of this cherished tradition,” Will Coss, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, said in a statement.

"Clowning around at the Macy's Parade."Photo courtesy: Macy's, Inc.
“Clowning around at the Macy’s Parade.”Photo courtesy: Macy’s, Inc.

Broadway fans will be able to enjoy performances from “Six,” “Moulin Rogue!” and “Wicked,” which have all returned to the theater after over a year of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade will also feature a sneak preview of NBC’s “Annie Live!” and an appearance from the Rockettes.

The many musical acts slated to take the stage include, among others, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Batiste, Kelly Rowland, Nelly, Carrie Underwood and the cast of “Girls5eva,” made up of Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell and Busy Philipps. Ballet Hispánico’s School of Dance, Broadway Education Alliance Youth Choir, Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Indigenous Direction, J.U.M.P. (Jumpers United for Macy’s Parade), the St. John’s Dance Team, Spirit of America Cheer and Spirit of America Dance Stars, and
the Young People’s Chorus of NYC will also participate in the parade.

Astronaut Snoopy by Peanuts Worldwide. Photo courtesy: Macy's, Inc.
Astronaut Snoopy by Peanuts Worldwide. Photo courtesy: Macy’s, Inc.

The holiday spectacular will bring together 10 marching bands, 15 giant character balloons, 28 floats and 36 novelty and heritage inflatables, and will see the debut of new balloons and floats — including a giant “Grogu” (affectionately referred to as Baby Yoda). Doing away with last year’s specialty vehicles, the fleet of gigantic balloons will once again be flown with the typical 80-100 handlers.

To produce the parade requires over 8,000 hours of labor from the Parade Studio team, comprising 27 painters, carpenters, animators, sculptors, welders, scenic and costume designers, electricians and engineers, according to organizers.

Macy's Parade balloon inflation. Photo courtesy: Macy's, Inc.
Macy’s Parade balloon inflation. Photo courtesy: Macy’s, Inc.

Those looking for a peek behind-the-scenes will be able to do so with the return of the annual balloon inflation celebration. Eliminated last year, the event will take place Nov. 24 on the Upper West Side, where a limited number of vaccinated, socially distanced guests can view the inflation process from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern.

The 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air on NBC and Telemundo Nov. 25 at 9 a.m. Eastern. The parade will also stream on Peacock.

Top Image: Macy's Great American Marching Band. Photo courtesy: Macy's, Inc.