The 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade went off without a hitch in the city with tons of new additions and old favorites.
The parade began at 9 a.m. at Central Park West and 77th Street and proceeded down a 2.5-mile route, turning left at Columbus Circle down Central Park South and right onto Sixth Avenue. The parade concluded in front of Macy’s Herald Square at 34th Street.
The parade was broadcasted live on NBC and on its streaming platform, Peacock.
This year’s parade featured plenty of favorite balloons, but there were also several new additions, including popular children’s characters Bluey, Stuart the Minion, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and DINO and Baby DINO. A Baby Shark float also made a debut this year.
The event was also star-studded, as usual, with appearances by Paula Abdul, Sean Paul, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, Mario Lopez, Jordin Sparks, the cast of the Muppets and more.
While the event concluded at noon, traffic will likely be impacted for several hours. Check here for the full list of street closures.
New Yorkers soak up stunning weather at Macy’s 96th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade
They’re a bunch of happy turkeys!
New Yorker’s lined the Big Apple’s streets bright and early Thursday, soaking up the sun and mild winter weather ahead the 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The quintessential Thanksgiving tradition kicked off on 77th and Central Park West at 9 a.m. to the cheers of spectators waiting to catch a glimpse of classic balloons like Snoopy and Pikachu — and some of this year’s new additions like Bluey.
Marisa Lau, a teacher celebrating her 40th birthday all the way from Sacramento, California, has wanted to view the parade in person since she was a little girl.
“This is a dream come true for me,” Lau, sporting a pair of turkey earrings, told The Post from her viewpoint at 53rd and Sixth.
“This is the best Thanksgiving for me. It’s going to be bigger and better than on TV. I can’t wait to wave, cheer and scream. It’s going to bring my inner child back,” the excited spectator said.
The massive crowd has drawn in both New Yorkers and tourists looking to take part in a tradition that for many signals the official start of the holiday season — especially with Santa Claus set to make a special appearance and close out the event.
Children were yelling, screaming, waving and calling out the names of their favorite characters as they floated or drove by on parade floats. At one point the festive crowd began to do the wave.
“I want to see the Bluey balloon,” said Tsehai Burns, a 15-year-old from Flushing, Queens who was watching an episode of the show on her cellphone before the parade began.
The tenth grader, who has Crohn’s disease, recalled how the show inspired her when she was hospitalized from Halloween to Christmas Eve in 2019 with a lower intestine infection.
“I couldn’t eat. I was very skinny. I had to get surgery,” she said, adding that she is now in better health.
Burns’ face lit up upon seeing her favorite character, Josh, standing on the float before the Bluey balloon.
“I shouted out his name. I wanted to take a selfie with him. He is my idol from when I was in the hospital. I had to get surgery and I watched him a lot. Josh helped me through my struggles in the hospital. Whenever I was sad, I watched Josh.”
Children and adults made up the large and lively crowd, both equally excited to bear witness to the parade.
Dawna Tsitrian, a substitute teacher from Rapid City, South Dakota, came with her daughter to celebrate her 80th birthday.
“I’ve always wanted to come since the 60s when we had a TV. I started watching it on my black-and-white TV — it was a little TV — and now I’m experiencing it live,” the young at heart Tsitrian said. “I chose to come on my 80th because you gotta move and grove.”
Macy’s beloved parade was back last year after going virtual during the COVID pandemic.
This year’s parade will feature 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns, 10 performance groups and a slew of musical stars. The parade will be put on by the work of over 5,000 volunteers.
High-flying balloon characters were the stars at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Throngs of spectators lined the streets of New York on Thursday as colorful, high-flying balloons helped usher in the holiday season during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The annual tradition, which dates back nearly a century, packed streets as a procession of giant inflatables and floats streamed for more than 40 blocks from Central Park to Herald Square.
Children balanced atop metal barricades and hung from scaffolding to watch the balloons amid mostly sunny skies and a slight breeze.
Police walk by inflated helium balloons of Baby Shark and Sinclair’s Dino ahead of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Blue, Blue. There’s Blue,” yelled Divyam Kumar, 6, as his father helped balance him and his 4-year-old brother Aanu Aryan on a metal rail.
The youngster was referring to the star of the animated show “Blue’s Clues” — not to be confused with the international cartoon sensation Bluey, an Australian cattle pup making her parade debut.
Bluey’s balloon towered as tall as a four-story building and stretched as wide as seven taxi cabs.
A child watches helium balloons as they’re inflated for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Stuart, the one-eyed Minion, was also there to thrill the crowd.
Snoopy, dressed as an astronaut, again made an appearance, as did Papa Smurf, Ronald McDonald and SpongeBob.
This year’s parade, by the numbers: 16 giant balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 12 marching bands, 10 performance groups, 700 clowns and one Santa Claus.
A man takes a photo of an inflated helium balloon of Stuart the Minion on Wednesday.
The Boss Baby balloon makes its way down Sixth Avenue during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The procession of characters were being joined by singer Paula Abdul, in her first parade appearance; indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums; boy band Big Time Rush; “Blue’s Clues & You!” host Josh Dela Cruz; singer Gloria Estefan; gospel singer Kirk Franklin; actor Mario Lopez; reggae star Ziggy Marley; and Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles.
Singers Joss Stone, Jordin Sparks and Betty Who will also be part of the festivities, as will the stars of Peacock’s “Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin” — Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg. Jimmy Fallon & The Roots will be on a float celebrating Central Park.
President Biden and Jill Biden called into the parade, as he did last year. Biden thanked firefighters, police officers and first responders, saying, “They never take a break.”
An inflated helium balloon of Ronald McDonald is seen on Wednesday, as the balloon is readied for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
They thanked the troops and Biden said he would be reaching out to speak to some today.
Asked about their plans for the day in Nantucket, the Bidens said it would involve family, and some time spent locally, thanking first responders.