Welcome to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ever since its debut in 1924, the holiday event has evolved from a two-block procession of circus animals into what is easily our favorite over-the-top spectacular of the year. The 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off from the corner of West 77th Street and Central Park West in New York City at 9 a.m. ET
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The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade through Manhattan starts on the west side of Central Park near the American Museum of Natural History at the corner of West 77th Street and Central Park West. The parade travels south down Central Park West until Columbus Circle, where it heads east on Central Park South until it reaches 6th Avenue. From there, it travels south toward 34th Street and Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square. The map below shows the parade route.
Parade weather in New York City
The National Weather Service says Thanksgiving morning in New York City will be sunny but windy. The forecast is calling for sun with morning temps in the high 40s. But there is expected to be a strong northwest wind of 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph.
Winds of those speeds may ground the famed Thanksgiving Day parade balloons due to city regulations set after the 1997 parade. During that parade, strong winds caused the Cat in the Hat balloon to knock down a lamppost, injuring four spectators. The new regulations were put in place to avoid future weather-related injuries. City rules now state the balloons can’t fly if sustained winds exceed 23 mph, or if wind gusts are over 34 mph.
Thanksgiving Day parade bands and performers
The list of stars and celebrities appearing atop the parade floats this year include: Billy Porter, Black Eyed Peas, Celine Dion, Chicago, Chris Janson, Chris Young, Ciara, Debbie Giobson, Idina Menzel, Josh Dela Cruz, Kelly Rowland, Lea Michele, Natasha Bedingfield, NCT 127, Nia Franklin, Ozuna, Tenille Townes, That Girl Lay Lay, TLC and NASA astronauts Dr. Janet L. Kavandi and Kay Hire.
Eleven marching bands, including those from six high schools and two colleges, will be performing in the 2019 parade. Additionally, six dance and cheer groups and two circus troupes from across the country will be on full display. The NYPD marching band, made up of active police officers, will also be marching again this year.
2019 Thanksgiving parade balloons and floats
Weather permitting, 30 giant balloons are scheduled to make an appearance for the Thanksgiving Day parade this year. These include five new entrants: Astronaut Snoopy, Green Eggs and Ham, Love Flies Up to the Sky, Smokey Bear and a new SpongeBob Squarepants and Gary balloon.
This year’s parade will also feature 19 floats, including five all-new floats. Among the new additions are New York Life’s Toy House of Marvelous Milestones, The LEGO Group Brick-Changer, Coach’s Rexy in the City, Home Sweet Home from Cracker Barrel and Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues & You. The blue puppy dog was first seen in the parade in 1999 as a balloon and a float.