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The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021 Lineup Is Here!

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021 Lineup Is Here!

This iconic Thanksgiving tradition kicks off the holidays each year, and it's slated to return to the streets of NYC this year with lots of new balloons and entertainment!

Macy’s and the City of New York announced the return of the world-famous Thanksgiving Day Parade Celebration, set to celebrate its 95th 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 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.”

Almost as popular as the parade itself, the annual balloon inflation event will also take place on Wednesday, Nov. 24, from 12-6pm at West 77 and West 81 Streets.  

When is the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, at 9am. It will air nationwide on NBC from 9am to 12pm. 

What is the Thanksgiving parade route?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place in Manhattan, kicking off at 77th Street and Central Park West, then going south along Central Park, ultimately making its way to Macy’s on 34th Street at Herald Square. 

What’s new for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021

Brand-new balloons and floats will be introduced this year at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, including:

New Balloons for the 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade

  • Ada from Netflix's Ada Twist, Scientist will wow audiences with her first adventure in the parade. Measuring in at 51 feet tall, Ada is sure to make an impression.
  • The Mandalorian's tiny Grogu will be a HUGE star at the parade this year, measuring in at a whopping 41 feet in height!
  • Pikachu & Eevee will sled down the route
  • Tiptoe Reindeer, the star of Macy's holiday campaign, is making her first inaugural appearance at the parade as a balloon puppet.
  • Toni, the Bandleader Bear

New Floats for the 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade

  • Birds of a Feather Stream Together, celebrating Peacock
  • Celebration Gator in honor of all things Mardi Gras
  • Colossal Wave of Wonder, Kalahari's all-new adventure theme starring baby elephants, a rhino, and octopus friend.
  • Magic Meets the Sea, a Disney Cruise line float

Who is performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year? 

In addition to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade’s signature mix of giant helium balloons, floats, celebrities, clowns and Santa, you can expect to see many musical performances. Plus, Ballet Hispanico, Big Apple Circus, Spirit of America Cheer, Radio City Rockettes and Broadway’s SIX, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, and Wicked will perform.

Musical Performers

These musical performers can be spotted on the parades many floats:

  • Aespa, one of South Korea’s new K-pop groups
  • Andy Grammar
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Chris Lane
  • Darren Criss
  • Foreigner
  • The cast of Girls5Eva
  • Jimmie Allen
  • Jon Batiste
  • Jordan Fisher
  • Josh Dela Cruz, Steven Burns, and Donovan Patton from Blue’s Clues
  • Kelly Rowland
  • Kim Petras
  • Kristin Chenoweth
  • Mickey Guyton
  • Nelly
  • Rob Thomas
  • Tai Verdes
  • Tauren Wells
  • Zoe Wees

Marching Bands

These marching bands were supposed to appear in the 2020 parade, but due to the pandemic, were moved to this year’s celebration:

  • Lincoln-Way High School Marching Band
  • Macy’s Great American Marching Band
  • NYPD Marching Band
  • The Ann RIchards Marching Stars
  • The Centerville High School Jazz Band
  • The Hampton University Marching Forge
  • The Squad of Brownsburg Marching Band
  • Trabuco Hills H.S. Thundering Mustangs Marching Unit
  • Union High School Renegade Regiment
  • University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band

Will the Macy’s Balloon Inflation event take place?

Yes! Parade fans can check out the giant balloons as they get inflated  outside of the American Museum of Natural History, between West 77 and 81 streets on the Upper West Side on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 12-6pm. Volunteers will be on site to help viewers find their way upon entering the area. This event, however, is limited to vaccinated guests, and it will have capacity limits. Guests must show proof of vaccination and a photo ID. Children under the age of 12 who are not eligible to receive vaccinations may accompany a vaccinated adult. 


A post shared by Macy's (@macys)

How are officials keeping parade spectators safe this year?

To once again safely produce the annual Thanksgiving celebration, Macy’s partnered closely with the City and State of New York to create an event production plan that would ensure health and safety practices are aligned with current CDC guidelines, as well as local and state government protocols.

The health and well-being of participants and spectators continues to be their No. 1 priority, Macy's said in a press release. 

Following the most up-to-date health guidelines, the city will manage public viewing locations and safety procedures along designated portions of the route. Details on the exact public viewing locations including viewing maps, entry guidelines, and restrictions are on the website. Spectators are encouraged to check in advance of their travel to the parade route.

For its participants and staff, Macy’s will put in place several health and safety procedures across all areas of the production, including:

  • All volunteer participants and staff will be vaccinated. A few exceptions may be made at the discretion of Macy’s and its medical consultant, in which case a COVID-19 test will be administered.

  • Participants and staff, regardless of vaccination status, will wear face coverings and additional protective equipment. As appropriate, exceptions may include singers, dancers, and musicians who are performing.

  • Macy’s will reduce the overall number of parade participants.

  • Social distancing practices will be in place at all interior/exterior parade operations.

“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a New York City institution for more than nine decades, growing to become an icon of American pop culture as it annually marks the official start of the holiday season,” said Will Coss, executive producer of the parade. “For our 95th celebration, we are delighted to return this cherished holiday tradition closer to its original form as we march down the streets of New York City and into the homes of a nationwide audience.”

Main photo by Kent Mille

Here at NYMetroParents, we've got everything you need to have a safefun, and festive fall and Halloween season.  Whether it is pumpkin or apple picking, getting lost in a corn maze, making Halloween crafts or finding costumes and decorations, we're here to help. 

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Barbara Russo

Author: Barbara Russo is a freelance writer who holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the City University of New York. She enjoys playing guitar, following current events, and hanging out with her pet rabbits. See More

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