It’s Almost Time! The 88th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is Just Days Away

What better way to officially begin the countdown to Christmas than with the first public sighting of Santa Claus of the season? The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been getting us in the holiday spirit for 88 years! More than 3.5 million people line the streets of New York to marvel at the balloons, performers, and floats. For those who can’t make it to the Big Apple or choose to not battle the cold, they join the 50 million people who tune into it on their TVs at home.

History

Starting in 1924 by Macy’s employees, the parade originally featured animals from Central Park Zoo. The success was overwhelming and it was then declared an annual event. In 1927 the first balloon character, Felix the Cat, made its debut. Today, the balloons are a staple part of the parade. For years to come, new characters were constantly being introduced to the lineup, including Mickey Mouse in 1934. The parade had to be cancelled during WWII, meaning that 2014 will be the 88th parade instead of the 90th.

What to Expect This Year

The 2014 lineup is filled with wonderful performers, exciting marching bands and performance groups, and the all-favorite balloons. Idina Menzel will be performing, along with Lucy Hale, Cole Swindell, and Nick Jonas. Spider-Man will make an appearance with all 90 handlers walking with this 2 story high, 7 taxi cab wide balloon. Snoopy will also be in the parade for his 33rd appearance, the most of any character. Papa Smurf will be joining the parade as well, along with many other balloons making their way from Central Park to Herald Square. Of course, Santa will be closing the parade as always, officially bringing in the holiday season.

The Route

The route starting at 77th St. at Central Park works its way down and over to 6th, continuing to 34th St. and ending at Herald Square. This gives visitors 2.5 miles of public viewing. If you are planning to make the trip to New York City, remember that grandstand tickets are not for sale to the general public.

Whether you plan to travel to the parade or just watch it in the warmth of your home, it is a tradition that you don’t want to miss! Tune in Thursday morning to watch balloons and floats bring joy and Christmas spirit to everyone both young and old.