An institution in NYC, it started in 1924 initially as a Christmas Parade and continued on as the Thanksgiving Parade which has only ever stopped during the war years from 1942-4. Once the committment to have an annual parade was made, it needed only the introduction of Tony Sarg’s big rubber balloons for all the elements of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade to be established.
These dyas you can count on the following being part of the parade: about 17 big cartoon character balloons, about 24 balloonicles (cold air balloons attached to a vehicle), balloonheads and trycaloons (a balloon attached to a tricycle). Add in about 27 floats, 12 marching bands, about 1100 cheer leaders and dancers, 1,000 clowns and of course Santa Claus.
There are usually up to 4 new big balloons per year. This year they will be Red from Angry Birds, DINO the Sinclair Oil mascot, Scrat from Ice Age and a new Ronald McDonald.
Best spots for watching the parade are the first leg along Central Park West from where it starts at 77th Street, then the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Time Warner Center Mall and the leg from 38th Street to Herald Square. You’ll need to get to 77th street at 6am to get a good spot. The Time Warner Center doesn’t open until 9 am, so there’ll be a crowd lined up to get in. If you want a good spot for the last leg get there about 7-7.30 am. The parade itself starts at 9.a.m.
A must see related event takes place the day before which is the balloon inflation which happens in an area starting at the American Museum of Natural History at Central Park West and 76th Street.
This year this will take place on Wednesday Nov 26th from 3-10pm. Go early, by 5pm the balloons will be half inflated and fully inflated by 9pm. When you go notice how they manage to hold all that helium tethered to the earth before the Parade takes off.
Kids absolutely love seeing the balloons inflated, but the reality is the crowd is too big to take littlies to see it. Children from about 8-10 will have more tolerance for the crowds, the standing around etc. To walk around the whole loop where the balloons are being inflated takes about 45 minutes and it’s tiring so take drink and food for kids.
3.5 million will line the route of the actual parade and over 20 million will watch it online. It is the biggest event that is held each year in NYC, it’s spectacular, unlike anything else in the world and very entertaining with all sorts of stars and performers doing their thing on floats and alo