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The NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade: What You Need to Know

Posted by Collin McGorty on Nov 8, 2016 9:30:00 AM

NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade

One of New York City’s most popular yearly traditions is almost here: the 90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Since 1924, the parade has marched its way through the streets of Manhattan with their signature character balloons, floats, marching bands, performers and so much more. This year the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade will be held on Thursday, November 24, starting at 9 a.m.

The Time-Honored Tradition of the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade

Parade Details

Over 3.5 million people will line the parade route, so it’s wise to arrive before 6:30 a.m. if you want a chance to catch a glimpse of the action.

The parade will make its way south down Central Park West, starting at 77th Street. After that, it will make its way across 59th Street, then down 6th Avenue, with a final turn at 34th Street, ending at the flagship Macy’s Herald Square store at 7th Avenue.

NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade

The main public viewing areas will be located:

  • Along Central Park West
  • On the west side of Columbus Circle
  • Down 6th Avenue, between 58th and 34th street
  • Across the south side of 34th Street between Broadway and 7th

Don’t miss the official viewing area at 34th and 7th Street outside of Macy’s, where all of the performances will take place.

Public transportation is usually a nightmare the day of the parade. You may want to take a cab and steer clear of all the unneeded stress that comes along with Thanksgiving traveling.

NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Main Event

This year’s parade will include over 8,000 participants, with highlights like:

  • 30 balloons
  • More than 1,000 cheerleaders and dancers
  • 27 floats
  • 12 marching bands from all over the country
  • Popular musicians
  • Broadway performances

Some of the returning balloon characters include Hello Kitty, the Pillsbury Doughboy and Spongebob Squarepants. Newcomer balloons include Trolls from the move “Trolls”, a new Charlie Brown, as well as a new Greg Heffley, from the hit children’s book Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade

The night before the big event, you can attend the annual balloon inflation. From 3-10 p.m., head over to 77th and 81st street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West (near The Museum of Natural History) to catch the action. If you can’t make it to the actual parade, this is a great way to take part in the festivities. 

This year’s event is going to be one for the ages. If you’ve never attended the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade, there’s no better time than now. It’s a perfect beginning of the holiday season, plus it’s just a ton of fun.


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Topics: NYC, Fall, Holiday, NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade