The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will return in its traditional form this year — complete with signature giant character balloons and cheering crowds lining the route — after a scaled-back version welcomed the holiday season last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual New York City tradition returns on Thursday, Nov. 25, with a mix of balloons, floats, marching bands, performance groups, clowns, music stars and the one-and-only Santa Claus.

"For more than nine decades, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has served to bring joy to millions, who gather with friends and family to experience this one-of-a-kind holiday celebration along the streets of New York City and in homes nationwide," said Will Coss, executive producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "For our 95th celebration, Macy's has created a spectacle to remember featuring a dazzling array of high-flying balloons, animated floats and incredible performers. We can't wait to help New York City and the nation kick-off the holiday season with the return of this cherished tradition."

The 95th annual Macy's Parade will feature 15 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 36 novelty and heritage inflatables, more than 800 clowns, 10 marching bands and nine performance groups, a host of musical stars and Santa Claus.


Safety protocols


Macy's said it has partnered with the city and state of New York to ensure its coronavirus health-and-safety protocols follow local and state guidelines, as well as the recommendations of the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention. All parade participants will be required to be masked and vaccinated, Coss said.

There will be public viewing along designated areas of the route managed by the New York Police Department, and spectators are asked to not bring large bags, umbrellas, backpacks or strollers. Guests entering viewing areas may be subject to a security search, but proof of vaccination will not be required.

The parade will start at 77th Street and Central Park West at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, marching its 2.5-mile route from Central Park West to Columbus Circle, turning onto Central Park South and heading down Sixth Avenue, before turning west at 34th Street and ending at Seventh Avenue in front of Macy's Herald Square.




For an insider's look at the holiday procession, fans may visit for regular updates, including behind-the-scenes previews, special tours, interactive historical information and educational activities. Fans can also follow @macys on various social media networks and join the


Inflation celebration


For those hoping to get a first look at the parade's floating wonders, the Macy's Balloon Inflation Celebration will run from noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24, with entry at 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue, and balloon viewing at 77th and 81st streets.

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will be required, and children under the age of 12 who are not yet fully vaccinated may be accompanied by a vaccinated adult. Masks will be required at all times.

Macy's limited grandstand tickets are not for sale to the general public.

There will be no public viewing or press access in the telecast area on Sixth Avenue from West 34th to West 38th streets and on West 34th Street, between Broadway and Seventh Avenue. There will be limited public viewing on the south side of West 34th Street, between Broadway & Seventh Avenue.


On television

The parade will be broadcast on NBC from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Nov. 25.

The holiday television special will feature a special performance from music superstar Carrie Underwood from her album, "My Gift."

Some of Broadway's best musicals will also perform, including "SIX," "Moulin Rouge!" and "Wicked;" along with a sneak preview of NBC's "Annie Live!" In addition, the Radio City Rockettes will bring their signature magic to Herald Square.


This article is written by Ann Marie Barron from the Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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