The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns in full for its 95th year on Thursday, November 25, with giant balloons, including a brand new Baby Yoda, plus marching bands and celebrity-filled floats, to kick off the 2021 holiday season.
Exact plans and viewing locations will be announced closer to the event, including viewing locations and rules for spectators, according to NYC safety protocols in place at the time.
Last year the parade was a seriously slimmed down version. Instead of marching the traditional 2.5mile route, it took place around the Macy’s Herald Square flagship store, with mostly pre-recorded entertainment.
The exact route has yet to be announced, but we expect it to follow its traditional route:
Stepping off at 77th Street and Central Park West, south on Central Park West to Columbus Circle, east on 59th Street to Sixth Avenue, and south to Broadway to the final destination at Herald Square.
We can also expect the traditional larger-than-life helium balloons, marching bands, giant floats, and A-list celebrity performances, plus Santa Claus himself on the last float.
Also unknown at this moment is whether the popular Balloonfest inflation event – will be open to the public. It’s a family favorite, the night before the parade, when the kids can watch balloons spring to life one arm or leg at a time. Balloonfest was another victim of the Pandemic in 2020.
Organizers promise that “up-to-date health guidelines” will be followed for spectators and parade participants. Macy’s said it is using what was learned from its recent Fourth of July Fireworks show, which drew a public audience this year, also after scaling back in 2020.
Among the changes already announced:
- All participants and parade staff are required to be vaccinated,
- Face coverings and additional PPE will be worn as necessary,
- The number of participants will be reduced by 10 to 20 percent,
- Social distancing will be practiced in all interior and exterior parade venues.
Despite that reduction, Macy’s says its signature giant character balloons will once again be flown with 80-100 handlers.
Macy’s also has invited performers who could not participate in 2020 because of the city lockdown to join the parade this year.
“We are thrilled to welcome back in its full form the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a world-renowned celebration that ushers in the magic of being in New York City during the holiday season,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We applaud Macy’s work to creatively continue this beloved tradition last year and look forward to welcoming back parade watchers to experience it safely, live and in-person this November.”
The parade has marched every year since 1924, except for three years during World War II.
Want to know more about the popular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Check the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade website for updates. We’ll have them here, too, including the names of entertainers.
Find the full press release from Macy’s here.