A spectacle like no other awaits millions as the 92nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, America’s favorite tradition, kicks-off the holiday season.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the nation’s biggest and most anticipated holiday celebration. Millions of families will tune in to watch the excitement unfold on Thursday, Nov. 22 as Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker of NBC’s “Today” host the broadcast from 9 a.m.-noon in all time zones.
Set to march through the streets of New York City on Thanksgiving, the nation will celebrate gathered with family and friends and more than 8,000 volunteers. Dressed as clowns, guiding the flight of larger-than-life character balloons, bringing the beat in the nation’s best marching bands and entertaining the crowds with their show-stopping performances, these participants will inspire and delight the nation. With the time honored phrase “Let’s Have a Parade,” the spectacle begins for more than 3.5 million spectators in New York and more than 50 million television viewers nationwide.
The star power along the parade route and in homes across the country will feature some of the nation’s most exciting performers. Appearing on board one of Macy’s signature floating stages will be Bad Bunny, Barenaked Ladies, Bazzi, Ally Brooke, Kane Brown, Brynn Cartelli, Jack & Jack, John Legend, Leona Lewis, Ella Mai, Tegan Marie, Martina McBride, Rita Ora, Carly Pearce, Pentatonix, Anika Noni Rose and the cast and Muppets of “Sesame Street,” Diana Ross with her children and extended family (including Rhonda Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross, Chudney Ross, Ross Naess and Evan Ross with wife Ashlee Simpson-Ross), Sugarland, Ashley Tisdale, Mackenzie Ziegler and Johnny Orlando, as well as a special appearance by the one-and-only Santa Claus.
On 34th Street, Broadway’s best shows will take a star turn in front of Macy’s famed flagship store with special performances. In addition, the show-stopping Radio City Rockettes® will bring their signature high-kicking magic to Herald Square.
Since 1924, the Macy’s Parade has enthralled the nation and become synonymous with the start of the holiday season. For the 92nd edition, the lineup will feature 16 giant character balloons; 43 novelty balloons, heritage balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 26 floats; 1,200 cheerleaders and dancers; more than 1,000 clowns; and 12 marching bands.
“We’re delighted to once again broadcast this extraordinary holiday tradition to viewers across the country,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs, NBC Entertainment. “The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade marks the beginning of the holiday season, and we’re as excited as ever to celebrate with this incredible lineup of performers, bands, floats, balloons and more.”
“This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will redefine spectacle with a jaw-dropping mix of must-see entertainment for millions of spectators,” said Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Featuring an amazing lineup of high-flying balloons, dazzling animated floats, world-class marching bands and performance groups, the nation’s top music artists and, of course, the one-and-only Santa Claus, the Macy’s Parade will once again herald the arrival of the holiday season.”
The Macy’s Parade is always a unique multi-level, magical march that provides spectators with different experiences, whether they watch it on television with friends and family or scout the perfect spot on the route to watch it unfold live. For the third year, Macy’s, along with NBCUniversal and Verizon, will give viewers an up close and personal second-screen experience of the parade with a 360-degree livestream on Verizon’s YouTube page. The stream will go live a 9 a.m. ET at www.youtube.com/verizon and will run through 12 p.m. ET.
Since 1927, the parade’s signature balloons have featured some of the world’s most beloved characters. Over time, the inflatables have morphed from air-filled characters carried on sticks to high-flying giants, balloonheads and even hybrid inflatables with vehicles inside.
Joining the giant character balloon lineup this year will be the famed Saiyan warrior Goku from Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
The elf stars of The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix – Fleck, Bjorn, Jojo and Hugg – will also debut taking to the skies ahead of the one-and-only Santa Claus. On the ground, the streets of New York will magically transform into the world’s largest bowling lane for the Go Bowling™ balloonicles (hybrid balloons and vehicles), as the bowling ball, pins and shoe cars try for strikes or perhaps a turkey, along the parade route.
Macy’s Blue Sky Gallery series will return to the sky this year for the seventh edition with Little Cloud, the iconic creation of art collaborative FriendsWithYou™. Macy’s Blue Sky Gallery series invites contemporary artists to recreate their work as parade balloons. Artists Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III will join Little Cloud with a stunning rainbow inflatable and two raindrops in this year’s parade, creating an artistic expression of joy and whimsy. Past works in the series have included balloons from famed artists Tom Otterness, Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami, Tim Burton and KAWS.
Rounding out the new inflatable cast will be Sinclair Oil’s Baby Dino balloonicles, Universal Orlando Resort’s™ The Nutcracker and the shining star of Macy’s Christmas celebrations, Sunny the Snowpal.
Returning giant balloon characters include Charlie Brown, Diary of A Wimpy Kid®, Sinclair’s DINO™, The Elf on the Shelf®, Illumination Presents Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, Jett by Super Wings, Disney Frozen’s Olaf, PAW Patrol®, Pikachu™, Pillsbury Doughboy™, Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, Ronald McDonald®, SpongeBob SquarePants, Toothless from DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”, and DreamWorks Trolls©. Completing the inflatable lineup is the famed Aflac Duck balloonicle from Aflac, Inc.
Gliding down Manhattan, the parade’s signature floats will transport spectators to worlds of wonder through creative design and skillful construction. Conceived and crafted by the incredible artisans of Macy’s Parade Studio, which include carpenters, engineers, electricians, painters, animators, sculptors, metal fabricators, scenic and costume designers, this year’s lineup of floats sets an unparalleled stage for entertainment. Macy’s Parade floats are often three stories tall and several lanes of traffic wide, but must collapse to no more than 12½-feet tall and 8-feet wide in order to travel safely from the New Jersey home of the Parade Studio, to the Manhattan starting line via the Lincoln Tunnel each Thanksgiving eve.
This year, four new floats will debut including Elf Pets® by Elf on the Shelf®, Fantasy Chocolate Factory by Kinder® (Ashley Tisdale), Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Nickelodeon (Jack & Jack) andSplashing Safari Adventure by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions (Ella Mai).
The returning float roster and their scheduled performers include 1-2-3 Sesame Street® by Sesame Workshop™ (Anika Noni Rose and the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street), The Aloha Spirit by King’s Hawaiian® (Barenaked Ladies), Big City Cheer! by Spirit of America Productions (Mackenzie Ziegler and Johnny Orlando), Building a Better World by Girl Scouts of the USA (Tegan Marie), The Cranberry Cooperative by Ocean Spray® (Sugarland) Deck the Halls by Balsam Hill® (Martina McBride), Discover Adventure! by Build-A-Bear® (John Legend), Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s® (Pentatonix); Frozen Fall Fun by Discover®/NHL (Bazzi, and NHL Hockey Hall of Famers Bernie Parent and Mike Richter), Fun House by Krazy Glue®; Harvest in the Valley by Green Giant® (Carly Pearce), Heartwarming Holiday Countdown by Hallmark Channel (Diana Ross), Mount Rushmore’s American Pride by South Dakota Department of Tourism (Kane Brown), On The Roll Again by Homewood Suites by Hilton® (Leona Lewis), Parade Day Mischief by SOUR PATCH KIDS® Candy (Bad Bunny), Santa’s Sleigh (Santa Claus), Shimmer and Shine by Nickelodeon (Ally Brooke), Snoopy’s Doghouse by Peanuts Worldwide, Tom Turkey, and Universal Playground by Universal Kids (Brynn Cartelli).
Returning for a second year is a special float that will commemorate the season through an original holiday song celebrating togetherness and the magic of believing. The Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree by Delta Air Lines will feature the voices of more than 100 Macy’s colleagues and friends from Delta hailing from across the nation and the world.
STRIKE UP THE BAND AND DANCE
Marching bands are a longtime fan favorite element. In 2018, 12 of the nation’s finest marching bands will ignite coast-to-coast excitement and hometown pride as they step off and perform on the streets of the Big Apple. This year’s bands include Cicero-North Syracuse High School Northstars Marching Band (Cicero, NY), Grants Pass High School Marching Band and Color Guard (Grants Pass, OR), Homewood Patriot Band (Homewood, AL), James Madison University Royal Dukes (Harrisonburg, VA), Keller High School Marching Band (Keller, Texas), Lafayette High School Mighty Lion Marching Band (Lafayette, LA), The Ohio State University Marching Band (Columbus, Ohio), Park Vista High School Marching Band (Lake Worth, FL), Riverside City College Marching Tigers (Riverside, CA), Woodland High School Wildcat Marching Band (Cartersville, GA), Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States) and the NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY).
Rounding out the live entertainment are the parade’s signature large performance groups. Joining the lineup this year are the teen dancers and cheerleaders of Spirit of America Dance Stars and Spirit of America Cheer. These groups together feature more than 1,100 of the very best performers recruited from hometowns nationwide. Days before Thanksgiving, they will gather for the first time in New York City to rehearse their numbers as a group, ahead of their once-in-a-lifetime national spotlight. Adding a little glamour to the dancefloor will be the Fred Astaire Dance Studios, a specialty group made up of 60 ballroom dancers, and bringing wacky fun will be the stars of the Big Apple Circus. Finally, joining select talent performances will be the Manhattan Youth Ballet, and Westchester Dance Artists.
Please note: All talent, performances, elements and information included are subject to change.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman serves as executive producer, Bill Bracken will co-executive produce and Ron de Moraes directs.