Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual parade in New York City presented by the U.S.-based department store chain Macy's. The Parade first took place in 1924,[2] tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States with America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit (with both parades being four years younger than Philadelphia's Thanksgiving Day Parade). The three-hour parade is held in Manhattan, ending outside Macy's Herald Square, takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thanksgiving Day, and has been televised nationally on NBC since 1953. The Parade's workforce is made up of Macy's employees and their friends and family, all of whom work as volunteers.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Official 96th Annual Parade poster featuring the balloons that were introduced that year. (2022)
Presented by
Opening theme"New York, New York"
Ending theme"Santa Claus Arrives to the Parade"
ComposersSammy Fidler (1958-1965)
Milton DeLugg (1966–2013)
Ray Chew (2014–present)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes96 (as of November 24, 2022)
Executive producerBrad Lachman (1994–present)
Production locationsCentral Park to Macy's Herald Square
New York City
Camera setupVideotape; multi-camera
Running time3 hours (with commercials)
Production companies
Original networkNBC
Original releaseNovember 27, 1924 (1924-11-27) –
November 22, 1951 (1951-11-22) (radio)
November 25, 1948 (1948-11-25) – present (television)


Early history

In 1924, store employees marched to Macy's Herald Square, the flagship store on 34th Street, dressed in vibrant costumes. There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. At the end of that first parade, Santa Claus was welcomed into Herald Square.[3][4][5] At this first parade, Santa was enthroned on the Macy's balcony at the 34th Street store entrance, where he was then crowned "King of the Kiddies". With an audience of over 250,000 people, the parade was such a success that Macy's declared it would become an annual event, despite media reports only barely covering the first parade.[5]

The Macy's parade was enough of a success to push Ragamuffin Day, the typical children's Thanksgiving Day activity from 1870 into the 1920s, into obscurity. Ragamuffin Day featured children going around and performing a primitive version of trick-or-treating, a practice that by the 1920s had come to annoy most adults. The public backlash against such begging in the 1930s (when most Americans were struggling in the midst of the Great Depression) led to promotion of alternatives, including Macy's parade. While ragamuffin parades that competed with Macy's would continue into the 1930s, the competition from Macy's would overwhelm the practice, and the last ragamuffin parade in New York City would take place in 1956.[6]

Anthony "Tony" Frederick Sarg loved to work with marionettes from an early age. After moving to London to start his own marionette business, Sarg moved to New York City to perform with his puppets on the street. Macy's heard about Sarg's talents and asked him to design a window display of a parade for the store.[7]

Growth and changes

Through the 1930s, the parade continued to grow, with crowds of over one million people lining the parade route in 1933. The first Mickey Mouse balloon entered the parade in 1934. The annual festivities were broadcast on local radio stations in New York City from 1932[8] to 1941[9] and resumed in 1945,[10] running through 1951.[11]

The parade was suspended from 1942 to 1944 as a result of World War II because rubber and helium were needed for the war effort.[12][13] The parade resumed in 1945 and became known nationwide shortly afterwards, having been prominently featured in the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street, which included footage of the 1946 festivities. The event had its first broadcast on network television in 1948 (see § Television coverage). From 1984 to 2019, the balloons were made by Raven Industries of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, through its Raven Aerostar division.[14]

Since 1985, the parade was traditionally led by the New York City Police Department Highway Patrol. In 2019, the cast of Sesame Street led the parade in honor of the show's 50th anniversary.

Following an incident in 2005 where a balloon knocked over a street light and injured spectators (see § Injuries), new safety measures were incorporated in 2006 to prevent accidents and balloon-related injuries. One measure taken was the installation of wind measurement devices to alert parade organizers to any unsafe conditions that could cause the balloons to behave erratically. In addition, parade officials implemented a measure to keep the balloons closer to the ground during windy conditions. New York City law prohibits Macy's from flying the full-size balloons if sustained winds exceed 20 knots (23 mph) or wind gusts exceed 30 knots (35 mph); New York's tall buildings and mostly uniform grid plan can amplify wind velocity on city streets.[15] This law, imposed in 1997, has never been activated, despite several close calls; the only time the parade balloons were ever grounded was in 1971. Each balloon has a risk profile to determine handling in windy conditions; taller, upright balloons are rotated to appear horizontal and face downward in such situations (as was the case in 2019, when a grounding was narrowly averted). The remaining floats and performances will continue as scheduled should the balloons be grounded.[16]

The 2018 parade was the coldest to date, with the temperature at 19 °F (-7.2 °C) during the event.[17] The warmest was in 1933 at 69 °F (20.5 °C). The 2006 parade was the wettest with 1.72" (49 mm) of rain.[18] Actresses Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla's kiss during The Prom's performance at the 2018 parade received significant media attention for being the first broadcast of a same-sex kiss in the parade's history.[19]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, the 2020 parade was downsized and closed to the public—being filmed as a broadcast-only event in the Herald Square area. There were 88% fewer participants, and social distancing was enforced. The event did not include college and high school marching bands (with the affected bands having been reinvited for 2021), nor any participant under 18 years of age. Balloons were tethered to a "specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five specialty vehicles" rather than carried by handlers. Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio stated that it will "[not be] a live parade, but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving day."[20][21] In 2021, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade returned to its traditional in-person procession with 6,500 participants marching in the Parade.


Hamlet The Balloon School Pig was being inflated by the Steven's Inflation Crew during training at Giants Stadium
The Olaf balloon being inflated the night before the parade in 2018

The balloons were introduced in 1928, replacing live zoo animals. Sarg's large animal-shaped balloons were produced by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio from the 1920s through 1980.[22] That year there was no procedure to deflate the balloons, and they were simply released. In 1928 five of the giant balloons were designed and filled with helium to rise above 2,000 feet (610 meters) and slowly deflate for whoever was lucky enough to capture the contestants in Macy's "balloon race[s]" and return them for a reward of $100 (equivalent to more than $1,600 with inflation as of 2021), this lasted until 1932.[23]

The balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade have had several varieties. The oldest is the novelty balloon class, consisting of smaller balloons ranging widely in size and handled by between one and thirty people (the smallest balloons are shaped like human heads and fit on the heads of the handlers). The larger and more popular class is the character balloons, primarily consisting of licensed pop-culture characters; each of these (16 in 2019)[24] is handled by exactly 90 people. From 2005 to 2012, a third balloon class, the "Blue Sky Gallery", transformed the works of contemporary artists into full-size balloons; after a five-year hiatus, the Blue Sky Gallery returned in 2018.

Balloons listed by year introduced

Character balloons

Year Balloons
1928 Fish, Tiger, Hummingbird, Sky Elephant, Early Bird
1929 The Katzenjammers, The Turk, Turkey, Dragon (longest balloon to ever appear in the Parade)
1930 Joe Jinks, Barney Google, Boob McNutt, Benny
1931 Tiamat the Dragon, Jerry the Pig, Two-Headed Giant, Cheetah, Blue Hippo
1932 Felix the Cat, Willie Red Bird, Fritz the Dachshund
1933 Gulliver, The Colicky Kid
1934 Mickey Mouse, Eddie Cantor (the only full-size balloon to be based on a living person),[25] Little Pig, The Big Bad Wolf,
1935 Donald Duck, Turkey, Harpo Marx, The Indian
1936 Father Knickerbocker, Dragon, Two-Headed Pirate
1937 Morton the Nantucket Sea Monster (redesigned version of Dragon Balloon, and second-longest balloon to appear in the Parade), Officer SOS 13 (redesigned version of Father Knickerbocker Balloon), Pinocchio, Christmas Stocking, The Man on the Trapeze
1938 Uncle Sam, Ferdinand the Bull, Little Man Big Man
1939 The Tin Man, Santa Claus
1940 Hippopotamus, Superman, Laffo the Clown
1941 Hugo the Football Player (redesigned version of Superman Balloon), Goldfish, Elephant
1945 Bobo the Hobo (Clown), The Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, Teddy Bear, Pumpkin, Ice Cream Cone
1946 The Baseball Player (redesigned version of Bobo the Hobo), Panda Bear (redesigned version of Teddy Bear Balloon), Pilgrim Father, Candy Cane
1947 Pirate, Officer PAL (redesigned version of Baseball Player Balloon), The Gnome (Redesigned version of Ice Cream Cone Balloon)
1948 Fireman (redesigned version of Officer PAL Balloon), The Monkey on the High Trapeze, Crocodile
1949 Hobo Clown (redesigned version of Fireman Balloon), Dachshund, Howdy Doody
1950 Toy Soldier, Rainbow Trout
1951 Mighty Mouse
1952 Spaceman
1953 Dachshund (second version), Goldfish with Pinkish Fins (redesigned version of the Rainbow Trout Balloon)
1954 Gorgeous Gobbler
1956 Observer
1957 Popeye
1960 Happy Dragon
1961 Bullwinkle J. Moose
1962 The Flying Trapeze (redesigned version of the Observer Balloon), Donald Duck (second version)
1963 Dino, Elsie the Cow
1964 Linus the Lionhearted
1965 Underdog
1966 Superman (second version), Smokey Bear
1968 Aviator Snoopy
1969 Astronaut Snoopy (second version, a tribute to Apollo 11)
1971 Smile (redesigned version of the Elsie the Cow balloon), Mickey Mouse (second version)
1975 Weeble
1977 Kermit the Frog
1980 Superman (third version, third-largest balloon to ever appear in the Parade)
1982 Olive Oyl, Woody Woodpecker
1983 Yogi Bear
1984 Garfield, Raggedy Ann
1985 Betty Boop
1986 Humpty Dumpty (redesigned version of Weeble Balloon, and the 100th Balloon in the Parade's history), Swee'Pea (addition to Olive Oyl balloon), Baby Shamu
1987 Spider-Man, Ronald McDonald, Snoopy on Skates (third version), Snuggle Bear,
1988 Big Bird, Quik Bunny, Pink Panther, Snoopy (fourth version) and Woodstock
1989 Bugs Bunny
1990 Clifford the Big Red Dog, Bart Simpson
1991 Babar the Elephant (redesigned version of the Smile balloon)
1992 Santa Goofy
1993 Beethoven (dog), Sonic the Hedgehog (first video game character in Parade history), Rex, Izzy
1994 Barney, The Cat in the Hat
1995 Dudley the Dragon, Sky Dancer, Eben Bear (redesigned version of Snuggle Bear Balloon)
1996 Rocky and Bullwinkle (second version of Bullwinkle, first animated helium balloon in the parade's history), Peter Rabbit
1997 Arthur, Rugrats, Bumpé, Petula Pig
1998 Babe, Wild Thing, Dexter
1999 Millennium Snoopy (fifth version), Honey Nut Cheerios Bee, Blue
2000 Bandleader Mickey Mouse (third version), Jeeves, Ronald McDonald (second version), Dragon Tales' Cassie
2001 Curious George, Pikachu, Big Bird (2nd version), Jimmy Neutron, Cheesasaurus Rex (first balloon with light-up feature)
2002 Charlie Brown and the Elusive Football, Little Bill, Mr. Monopoly, Kermit the Frog (second version)
2003 "Strike Up the Band" Barney (Second version), Super Grover, Garfield (second version)
2004 Chicken Little, M&M's Red and Yellow Brighten the Holidays, SpongeBob SquarePants
2005 Scooby-Doo, Dora the Explorer, Mr. Potato Head, JoJo's Circus
2006 Snoopy as the Flying Ace (sixth version), Pikachu with Poké Ball (second version)
2007 Abby Cadabby, Super Cute Hello Kitty, Shrek
2008 Smurf, Buzz Lightyear, Horton the Elephant
2009 Spider-Man (second version),[26] Ronald McDonald (third version), Sailor Mickey (fourth version), Pillsbury Doughboy
2010 Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Po from Kung Fu Panda
2011 Sonic the Hedgehog (second version) Julius
2012 Hello Kitty (second version), Papa Smurf, The Elf on the Shelf
2013 Snoopy and Woodstock (seventh version for Snoopy, second version for Woodstock), SpongeBob SquarePants (second version), How to Train Your Dragon's Toothless, The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Hot Air Balloon, Adventure Time with Finn & Jake
2014 Thomas the Tank Engine; Paddington (second version, first time as a balloon); Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, Skylanders' Eruptor, Pikachu (third version); Pillsbury Doughboy (second version, identical to first version)
2015 Ice Age's Scrat and his Acorn, Ronald McDonald (fourth version); Angry Birds' Red;[27] Dino (second version)
2016 Charlie Brown (second version), Diary of a Wimpy Kid (second version), Trolls
2017 Olaf, Jett from Super Wings, Chase from PAW Patrol, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (Second version, first time as a Balloon; from the 2018 animated film)
2018 Goku from Dragon Ball
2019 Astronaut Snoopy (eighth version), Green Eggs and Ham, SpongeBob SquarePants (Third version) with Gary
2020 Red Titan from Ryan's World, The Boss Baby
2021 Ada Twist, Scientist, Funko Pop!-Inspired Grogu, Ronald McDonald (fifth version), Pikachu and Eevee (fourth version for Pikachu)
2022 Bluey, Diary of a Wimpy Kid (third version), Stuart the Minion, Sinclair's Dino and Baby Dino (third version for Dino)

Novelty balloons

Year Balloons
1985 Lollipops, Ice Cream Cone, Pennsylvania Dutch Ornaments, Flower Ornaments, American Star Ornaments, Geometric Ornaments, Macy's White Stars
1986 Macy's White Stars (Second Version, first full size version), Starfishes
1987 Ice Cream Cone (second version), Ice Stars
1988 ABC Bouncing Balls
1991 Basketball, Baseball, Football
1992 Pumpkins (recreation of 1945 Pumpkin Balloon), The Pinheads
1993 Wiggle Worm
1994 Cloe the Holiday Clown
1995 FujiFilm's Blimp
1996 Harold the Fireman (recreation of 1948's "The Fireman" balloon), Flying Fish (recreation of 1950's "Flying Fish" balloon), Americana Balloons
1999 Stars & Stripes Ornaments
2000 The Elf (recreation of 1940s Gnome balloon, later named Charlie "Blue" Elf)
2001 Toy Soldier (recreation of 1950s Toy Soldier), 75th Anniversary Parade Stars, Happy Hippo (recreation of 40's Hippo Balloon)
2002 Uncle Sam (recreation of 1930s Uncle Sam balloon), Macy's Yellow Stars, The Centennial, Red Macy's Stars
2003 Turkey (recreation of the 1950s Gorgeous Gobbler balloon), Pumpkins (second version), Freda the Dachshund (recreation of 1950s Dachshund balloon), Blue Macy's Stars
2004 Alexander Mora's Turkey of World Peace (Winner of a 2004 Design a Balloon contest), Wiggle Worm (second version), Red Candy Cane, Kit "Red" Elf, C.J. "Yellow" Elf
2005 Cloe the Holiday Clown (second version), Strawberry/Pistachio Ice Cream Cone (third version)
2006 Yellow Macy's Stars, Raspberry Chocolate Swirl/Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream Cone, Handprint Spheres, Green Candy Cane
2007 Beach Ball Clusters, Planet Earth, Arrrtie the Pirate (recreation of 1940s Pirate balloon), Soccer Ball
2008 Gold Macy's Tri-Star, Green "Believe" Star
2009 Geometrics, Basketball (second version), Big Man Santa, Red "Believe" Stars
2010 Virginia O'Hanlon
2011 Harold the Policeman (recreation of 1940s "Officer PAL" balloon), Gazer Elf (Winner "Macy's Great American Elf Adventure" contest)
2012 Pumpkins (third version), Soccer Ball (second version), Rex the Happy Dragon (recreation of older Happy Dragon balloon)
2013 Happy Hippo (second Version), Football (second version)
2015 Yellow Macy's Stars (second version), Arrtie the Pirate (second version), Red "Believe" Stars (second version)
2016 Trixie the Bouncing Dog
2017 Blue & White Macy's Stars (second version), Gold Macy's Starflakes
2018 Americana Spheres (Second Version), Sunny the Snowpal
2019 Strawberry/Pistachio Ice Cream Cone (third version), Blue Starflakes
2021 Toni the Bandleader Bear, Tiptoe
2022 Green and Red Striped Candy Cane, Pumpkins (fourth version)

Blue Sky Gallery

Year Balloon Artist
2005 Humpty Dumpty Tom Otterness
2007 Rabbit Jeff Koons
2008 Figure with Heart Keith Haring
2010 Kaikai and Kiki Takashi Murakami
2011 B. Tim Burton
2012 Companion KAWS
2018 Little Cloud FriendsWithYou
2019 Love Flies Up to the Sky Yayoi Kusama


A falloon, a portmanteau of "float" and "balloon", is a float-based balloon. They were introduced in 1986.

Year Falloon
1986 The Chipmunk Adventure
1990 Paddington Bear, The Wicked Witch of the West
1991 The Magical World of Mother Goose, Sporting Life
1993 Little Drummer Boy, Elf-in-the-Box
1994 Sea Venture
1995 M&M's Chocolate Colorworks
1996 The Family Channel's (Later Fox Family) Snow Family
1997 The Grinch, The World of Wiggle
1998 M&M's Network, Heimlich, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
1999 sock puppet
2000 Greendog
2001 World of Greendog (second version), Santaland Express with Percy, the Poor Little Penguin
2003 Percy & the P-Birds
2004 Universal Orlando Resort's Holiday Beat (second version of Little Drummer Boy), NFL Classic
2005 Big Apple (third version), Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi
2008 Smurf Mushroom House, Bolt
2010 Northern Lights Jukebox (Universal Orlando Resort Only)
2011 Universal Orlando Resort's P.B. Polar Bear
2012 Goldfish On Parade
2013 A World at Sea, Snowman (Universal Orlando Resort Only)
2017 Sour Patch Kids: Parade Day Mischief
2019 Blue's Clues & You!
2022 The Wondership


A balloonicle, a portmanteau of "balloon" and "vehicle", is a self-powered balloon vehicle. They were introduced in 2004.

Year Balloonicle
2004 Weebles' Tibbey, Tooey and Bumpus
2005 Snowbo
2006 Energizer Bunny
2010 Kool-Aid Man, Gold Ornament, Blue Ornament
2011 Sledding Aflac Duck
2013 Dreidel
2014 Ice Skating Aflac Duck (second version), Cloe the Holiday Clown (third version, first time as a balloonicle)
2015 Tom Turkey (Universal Orlando Resort Only)
2016 Mother Ginger from The Nutcracker ballet
2017 Aflac Duck (third version)
2018 Go Bowling (Six bowling pins and one bowling ball), Sinclair Oil's Baby Dinos
2022 Striker the U.S. Soccer Star (from Fox Sports), The Cheese Touch (part of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon)


A "floalloonicle", a portmanteau of "float", "balloon" and "vehicle", is a self-powered balloon vehicle structured around a float. They were introduced in 2021.

Year Floalloonicle
2021 Heinz Gravy Pirates

Heritage Balloon

"Heritage Balloons" are mid-sized helium balloons that have a sponsor other than Macy's. They were introduced in 2016.

Year Heritage Balloon Sponsor
2016 Felix the Cat (second version) DreamWorks Classics
2017 Harold the Baseball Player (recreation of 1946 "The Baseball Player" Balloon) 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
2018 The Christmas Chronicles (4 separate balloons of Fleck, Bjorn, Jojo and Hugg), Nutcracker (From Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's) Netflix
Universal Orlando Resort
2019 Smokey Bear (second version) U.S. Forest Service
2021 Santa Starflakes (alteration of existing Blue Starflake Balloons, planned for 2020) Universal Orlando Resort
2022 The Hottest Heart, Baby Shark, Dolly (also known as Hot Air Dolly) Adidas and Bad Bunny
Pinkfong and Nickelodeon
Universal Orlando Resort

Performers and acts

Santa Claus' arrival at the parade's finale marks the start of the Christmas season

In addition to the well-known balloons and floats, the parade also features live music and other performances. College and high school marching bands from across the country participate in the parade.[28] The television broadcasts feature performances by established and up-and-coming singers and bands. The Rockettes of Radio City Music Hall are a classic performance (having performed annually since 1957[29] as the last pre-parade act to perform, followed by a commercial break), as are cheerleaders and dancers chosen by the National Cheerleaders Association from various high schools across the country. The parade always concludes with the arrival of Santa Claus to ring in the Christmas and holiday season (except for the 1932 parade, when Santa led the parade).[30] Since 2017, the Macy's Singing Christmas Tree choir precedes Santa Claus as the final performer of the parade.

On the NBC telecast from in front of the flagship Macy's store on Broadway and 34th Street, the marching bands perform live music. Most "live" performances by musicals and individual artists lip-sync to the studio, soundtrack or cast recordings of their songs,[31] due to the technical difficulties of attempting to sing into a wireless microphone while in a moving vehicle (performers themselves typically perform on the floats); the NBC-flagged microphones used by performers on floats are almost always non-functioning props.[32] Although rare, recent parade broadcasts have featured at least one live performance with no use of recorded vocals.[33]

Featured performers

Year Performers
1949 Milton Berle
1950 Jimmy Durante
1951 Bert Lahr, Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob, Happy Felton
1952 Jackie Gleason, Garry Moore, Jack Sterling, Sam Levenson, Bob Trout, Eddie Albert, Fletcher Markle, Mercedes McCambridge
1953 Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Wally Cox, Celeste Holm, Martha Raye, Steve Allen, Faye Emerson, Eddie Fisher, Bill Boyd, Roy Rogers, Howdy Doody and Clarabell
1954 Abbott and Costello, Sid Caesar, Jackie Cooper, Carol Haney, Judy Holiday, Virginia Mayo, The Cast of Howdy Doody, Lassie, J. Fred Muggs
1955 Danny Kaye, Dena Kaye, Pinky Lee, Howdy Doody,
1956 Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Paul Winchell, Buster Crabbe, Spike Jones, Edie Adams, Peter Palmer, Charlotte Rae, Joe E. Marks, Stubby Kaye, Billy Gilbert, Basil Rathbone, Martyn Green, Dennis Kohler, Dan Tempest
1957 Hugh O'Brian, Eddie Foy Jr., Sandra Baird, Farley Granger, Margaret O'Brien, Gene London
1958 Dale Robertson, Robert Horton, George Montgomery, Dick Clark, Ginger Rogers, Russ Tamblyn, Benny Goodman, Dolores Hart, Richard Eyer, Ed Herlihy, Charlie Ruggles
1959 Shirley Temple, Chuck Connors, Dolores Gray, Pat Carroll, Connie Francis, Jules Munshin, Bobby Clark, Ed Wynn
1960 Shirley Jones, David Kory, Joe E. Brown, Lori Martin
1961 Dan Blocker, Michael Landon, Lorne Greene, Martha Wright, Connie Francis, George Gobel, Sam Levene, Troy Donahue, Robert Morse, Annette Funicello, Lori Martin, Joe E. Ross, Fred Gwynne, Casey Stengel, Lionel Hampton
1962 Jay North, Tony Bennett, Darla Banks, Carol Lawrence, Jimmy Durante, Joe E. Ross, Fred Gwynne, Sam Levenson, Dean Jones, Willie Mays, Ralph Terry, Jack Dempsey, Otto Graham, Arnold Palmer, Gene Krupa, Frank Fontaine
1963 James Drury, Michael Landon, Jack Palance, Ray Bolger, Mitch Miller, Robert Cottle, Troy Donahue, Gene Krupa, Leslie Uggams, Allan Sherman, Janis Paige, Craig Stevens, Valerie Lee, Fred Gwynne
1964 Victor Borge, Fess Parker, Mack & Myer, Dave Garroway, Bil Baird, Cora Baird, The Munsters, Soupy Sales, Steve Lawrence, Della Reese
1965 Jane Morgan, Bil Baird, John Raitt, Arnold Stang, Paul Anka, Alan King, Tessie O'Shea, Soupy Sales
1966 Wayne Newton, Francoise Hardy, Jack Brabham, Frankie Michaels, Nina Simone, Soupy Sales, Teresa Brewer, Bruce Yarnell, Tessie O'Shea, Dusty Springfield, Ronald McDonald
1967 Aretha Franklin, Bruce Yarnell, Bobby Vee, Bill Hayes, Ed Ames, Vikki Carr, The Happenings, Dionne Warwick, Jack Greene, Buck Owens and His Buckaroos, Jim Cullum's Happy Jazz Band, Rosita Fernandez
1968 Shirley Jones, Jack Cassidy, Bayn Johnson, The Banana Splits, William Shatner, Sonny James, Jerry Vale, Johnny Whitaker, Bobby Vinton, Sally Ann Howes,
1969 Dick Roman, The New York Mets, Teresa Graves, The Broadway Cast of Jimmy, Melanie, The Four Seasons, Marc Copage, Johnny Whitaker, Guy Lombardo, David Hartman, David Houston, Richard Leibert,
1970 Billy Kidd, The Hart Ski Team, The Lettermen, Hank Williams Jr., Eddie Albert, Richard Leibert, Jeannie C. Riley, Rosey Grier, Janis Harper, Brenda Lee, Don Ho, Dick Roman
1971 The Temptations, Sonny James, Bobby Vinton, Tommy Tune, Lynn Anderson, Little Golden Books Characters, Sammi Smith, Tanja Solnik
1972 Freda Payne, John Raitt, The Broadway Cast of Showboat. Rick Springfield, Karen Wyman, Jody Miller, Danny Bonaduce, Donna Fargo, Tommy Cash, Little Golden Books Characters, Bill Anderson
1973 George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Evel Knievel, John Davidson, Little Golden Books Characters, Tanya Tucker, Johnny Nash, Johnny Whitaker, Kathleen Freeman
1974 Howard Keel, Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods, University of Pennsylvania Glee Club, The Wombles, Bil Baird, Kathy Coleman, Danny Davis, The Cast of Sesame Street, Doug Henning, Bonnie Langford
1975 Shari Lewis, Melba Moore, Dolly Parton, Ben Vereen, Mason Reese, Bill Hayes, Susan Seaforth Hayes, Freddy Fender, Bil Baird, Doug Henning, The Cast of Sesame Street
1976 Shari Lewis, The Cast of the New Howdy Doody Show, The West Point Glee Club, Laverne & Shirley, Paul Williams and the Cast of Bugsy Malone, Martha Raye, Evel Knievel and Robbie Knievel, Barry Manilow and Lady Flash, The Cast of Sesame Street, Roberta Peters and Justino Diaz
1977 Arte Johnson and Jo Anne Worley, Andrea McArdle, Victor Borge, Orson Bean, Carol Lawrence, Neil Sedaka, Lou Rawls, Mel Tillis, Gloria Gaynor, The Trammps, Vince Montana, Mummenschanz, Wally Amos, The Cast of Sesame Street, University of Pennsylvania Glee Club
1978 Melba Moore, Peter Ustinov, The Village People, Bruce Jenner, The Oak Ridge Boys, Wally Amos, Lynn-Holly Johnson, The Smothers Brothers, Ricardo Montalbán, Imogene Coca, Shields & Yarnell, Margo Smith, The Cast of Sesame Street
1979 Mickey Rooney and Jan Chamberlin, Herb Alpert, Wally Amos, The Broadway Cast of Ain't Misbehavin', Sandy Duncan, Erik Estrada, Gil Gerard, Lionel Hampton and the All-Stars, Andy Kaufman, Dianne Kay, Robert Keeshan, Ann Miller, Diana Ross, Robert Stack, Larry Storch, Gloria Vanderbilt, Chuck Woolery, Anderson Cooper, The Cast of Sesame Street, Sha Na Na, Franco Columbu
1980 Melba Moore, Linda Ronstadt, Rex Smith, Captain & Tennille, Sister Sledge, The Spinners, Chita Rivera, George Rose, Stephanie Mills, The Steinettes, Priscilla Lopez, Dean Butler, France Joli, Maynard Ferguson, Lacy J. Dalton, Paul Keenan, Danielle Brisebois, Wally Amos, Joe Nolan, The Cast of Sesame Street
1981 Moe Bandy, Nell Carter, Phyllis Diller, Erik Estrada, Kim Fields, Charles Haid, Bill Hayes Susan Seaforth Hayes, Gregory Hines, Wendy Holcombe, Geoffrey Holder, Phyllis Hyman, Barrie Ingham, Larry Kert, Kaleena Kiff, Kool & The Gang, Andrea McArdle, Nancy McKeon, Ann Miller, Jim Nabors, Donny Osmond, Michael Warren, Dave Winfield, The Cast of Pinwheel, The Muppets, Don McLean, The Cast of Sesame Street
1982 Milton Berle, Ricky Schroder, Laura Branigan, Andy Gibb, The Oak Ridge Boys, Paul Williams, Keith Carradine, Deniece Williams, Shelley Bruce, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Nero, Wayland Flowers, Jim Henson, Tina Yothers, Show of Hands USA, The National Dance Institute, Lorne Greene, Benji, Captain Haggerty, Herb Vigran, The Cast of Sesame Street
1983 Charlie Pride, The Cast of We Got It Made, The Special Olympics, Peter Billingsley, Lynn Anderson, The Ballet Folklorico, Ashford & Simpson, Alfonso Ribeiro, Mr. Smith, Leonard Frey, Walter Lantz, Gracie Lantz, Glenn Scarpelli, Eddie Albert, Vanessa Williams, Lou Rawls, The Boys Choir of Harlem, Tommy Tune, Twiggy, Mary Jo Catlett
1984 Dionne Warwick, Robert Vaughn, The United States Coast Guard Academy Glee Club, Georgia Engel, Joey Lawrence, John Schneider, John Ratzenberger, Irene Cara, Marie Osmond, Danny Cooksey, Florence Henderson, Ronald McDonald, Judy Landers, Audrey Landers, Jane Badler, Marc Singer, Dom DeLuise, The Stars of Riptide, James Sikking, Daniel J. Travanti, Bruce Weitz, Rich Little, Placido Domingo, The Wyatt Brothers, Tim Conway, Kaye Ballard
1985 Janie Fricke, Woody Herman & the Young Thundering Herd, Susan Akin, The Cast of Big River, Betty Thomas, New Edition, Philip Michael Thomas, Teddy Pendergrass, James Coco, Lee Greenwood, Allison Smith, Tony Bennett, Steven Furst, Rue McClanahan, William Daniels, Show of Hands USA, Phylicia Ayers-Allen, The Cosby Show Kids, Rosemary Clooney,
1986 Crystal Gayle, Victor French, Robert Merrill, Up with People, Amy Grant, Keith Hernandez, Lee Mazzilli, Mookie Wilson, The Four Tops, The Cast of Beehive, Phyllis Diller, Hank Cheyne, Ed Fry, Laurence Lau, Victoria Jackson, Celeste Holm, John James, Sawyer Brown, Dick Van Patten, Pat Van Patten, Dottie West, Joey Lawrence, Matthew Lawrence, Roger Miller, Rex Smith, Shirley Jones
1987 Ronald McDonald, Kale Browne, Rita Coolidge, Joel Grey, Alaina Reed-Hall, Bert Parks, Bob Smith, Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog, Bobby Vinton, Bruce Weitz, Saundra Santiago, John Tesh, Gloria Loring, President Ronald Reagan, Ed Fry, David Forsyth, Michael Damian, Tiffany, Ben Vereen, Christopher Hewett, Seaworld Characters, Judy Kaye, Patrick Swayze, Phylicia Rashad, Jill Schulz, Barbie and the Sensations
1988 Tim Dunigan, Robin Leach, Judith Ledford, Roberta Flack, The Cast of Sesame Street, Tanya Tucker, Frankie Valli, The Taffetas, Christopher Daniel Barnes, The Boys Choir of Harlem, Janet Evans, Florence Griffith-Joyner, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Carl Lewis, Peter Allen, Fred Travalena, Marilyn Horne, The Four Tops, Friz Freleng, Al Roker, Linda Church, Joe Witte, Jill Schulz, The Osmond Boys, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Desiree Coleman, Stephen Collins
1989 Fred Travalena (as The Joker), Dixie Carter, Clint Black, Robert Vaughn, Chelsea Hertford, Terry Lester, Candace Cameron, Jodie Sweetin, Dawnn Lewis, Melba Moore, Buddy Hackett, Sandra Fergusen, Charles Grant, New Kids on the Block, Dave Cone, Tommy John, Jeremy Light, Odetta, Looney Tunes characters, Robin Leach, Judith Ledford, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Telly Savalas, Barbie, Alan Rachins, Jane Hanson, Katie Kelly, Perri Peltz, Donna Kane, Jill Schulz, Amani Murray, Chip 'n Dale, Gumby
1990 Patti LaBelle, Robert Urich, Garth Brooks, The Guys Next Door, Cathy Rigby, Raven-Symoné, Bert and Ernie, Kyndra Joy Casper, Jann Carr, Judy Kaye, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Miss America 1990 Marjorie Vincent, Scott Bakula, Kecia Lewis Evans, Patty Loveless, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy (tribute to Jim Henson), Tiny Toon Adventures cast, Katarina Witt & Brian Boitano, Barbie and the Sensations, Desiree Coleman, The Boys, Mark Jackson, Fred Travalena, Barry Manilow
1991 Charlie Daniels, Kathleen Battle, Elayne Boosler, Rock-A-Doodle Characters, Kentucky Headhunters, Raven-Symoné, Joey Lawrence, Matthew Lawrence, Taz-Mania Characters, The Addams Family, Ben Vereen, Fred Travalena, Ian Ziering, Jennifer Holliday, Boyz II Men, Ashlee Levitch, Big Apple Chorus, Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Lark Voorhies, The Susan Marsh Dancers, Shelly Duvall, Judy Collins, Santa Claus, California Raisins
1992 Jean McFaddin, Mac Davis, Shaun Weiss, Michael Fesinetin, Joey Lawrence, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Big Apple Circus, Rich Little, Shanice, Brian Greene, Jessye Norman, Jenna Von Oy, Cheech Marin, Characters from Beauty and the Beast, Shari Lewis, Lamb Chop, Peabo Bryson, Regina Belle, Kris Kross, Aaron Tippin, John Tesh, Connie Selleca, Russ Trolls, Santa Claus, The Pink Panther
1993 Joe Lando, Stevie Wonder, Elayne Boosler, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Ruth Buzzi, Jo Anne Worley, Dirk Blocker, Michael Landon Jr., Kelsey Grammer, Jonathan Brandis, Valley Stream Central High School Streamers, '69 Miracle Mets, Pedro Luis Garcia, Rebeca Rambal, Lorenzo Lamas, Kathleen Kinmont, Debbie Reynolds, Bob Dorian, Eva Marie-Saint, Joey Lawrence, Kathryn Zaremba, Harve Presnell, Cindy Lou, Dave Thomas, Shari Lewis, Lamb Chop, Ricki Lake, Santa Claus, McGruff the Crime Dog, Fred Flintstone, Ronald McDonald
1994 Jean McFaddin, Bob Hope, Shari Lewis, Lamb Chop, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, Kenny G, Dudley the Dragon, The Swan Princess Characters, Kris Bartling, Skeleton Warriors, The Cast of Sesame Street, Dorothy Lamour, Nick Clooney, Bob Dorian, Long Island Banjo Society, Joey Lawrence, Judy Collins, Liz Torres, Fred the Baker, Natalie Cole, Connie Stevens, Joely Fisher, Tricia Leigh Fishe, Dave Thomas, Santa Claus, Aero the Acro-Bat, Gumby, Barney, Baby Bop & BJ
1995 The Cat in the Hat, Shania Twain, LL Cool J, Macy's Parade Dance Team, Boys Choir of Harlem, Hello Kitty, Pomp, Duck and Circumstance, Barney, Baby Bop & BJ, The Cast of Sesame Street, Oksana Baiul, All-4-One, Joseph Barbara, Timothy Gibbs, Thyme Lewis, Peter Reckell, Diego Serrano, Mark Valley, Joey Lawrence, Frank Diocpoulos, Ron Raines, Robert S. Woods, Jon Secada, Kelsey Grammer, Stars of Kidsongs, Puzzle Place Puppet Kids, Brandy, Ann B. Davis, Shawntel Smith, Rosemary Clooney, Bob Dorian, Nick Clooney, Shari Lewis, Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse, Hush Puppy, Fred the Baker, SeaBabies, Terrence Mann, Ben Vereen, Santa Claus, Captain America, Wolverine, Hootie the Owl, Muffy VanderBear
1996 Bo Diddley, Deidre Hall, Joey Lawrence, Matthew Lawrence, Andrew Lawrence, The Cast of Sesame Street, Oksana Baiul, Elayne Boosler, Popeye, Olive Oyl, Lea Thompson, The Cast of Cats, Cruella De Vil, Dominique Dawes, Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and The Red River/Rocky Top Cloggers, Barney, Baby Bop & BJ, The Coconauts Cast, Shirley Jones, Bob Dorian, Nick Clooney, Vanessa Williams, Fred the Baker, Shari Lewis, Lamb Chop, Santa Claus, Gumby, Wolverine
1997 Shari Lewis, Charlie Horse, Hal Linden, The Cast of Sesame Street, Rebecca Luker, Mary-Kate, Ashley Olsen, Deborah Gibson, Kristian Alfonso, Joe Mascolo, Linda Dano, Joseph Barbara, Clive Robertson, Susan Ward, Cathy Rigby, Anastasia Characters, Barney, Baby Bop & BJ, Tim McGraw, Backstreet Boys, Vicki Lewis, Wynonna Judd, John Tesh, Kym Hampton, Teresa Weatherspoon, Randy Travis, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Liz Callaway, Santa Claus
1998 Jean McFaddin, Martina McBride, The Cast of Sesame Street, Eric McCormick, Debra Messing, Christiane Noll, Barney, John McDonough, 98°, Rockapella, Judy Collins, Cathy Rigby, *NSYNC, Jo Dee Messina, Flik & Atta and The Cast of A Bug's Life, Kenny Rogers, Joe Torre, Chicago, The Cast of The New Addams Family, The Pointer Sisters, Kevin Sharp, Santa Claus
1999 98 Degrees, Christina Aguilera, Lou Bega, Kool & the Gang, SHeDAISY, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Rockapella, Charlotte Church, The Bacon Brothers, Susan Lucci, The Cast of Sesame Street, Barney, Baby Bop & BJ, Steve Burns from Blue's Clues, Miss America 2000 Heather French Henry, Terri Irwin, Jeremy Kushnier, Lillias White, Verne Troyer, the cast of Ragtime, the cast of Third Watch, Joe Torre, Rudy Giuliani, Wild Orchid, and Florence Henderson
2000 Baha Men, The Corrs, Jo Dee Messina, BBMak, Kenny Chesney, Jennifer Day, Sara Evans, Jo Dee Messina, Aaron Carter, LFO, Innocence, Rascal Flatts, Mikaila, Tito Puente Jr., Emeril Lagasse, Ann Hampton Callaway, Miss America 2001 Angela Perez Baraquio, Jeff Corwin, Steve Burns from Blue's Clues, Ronald McDonald, The Cast of Sesame Street, the cast of Passions, Barney, Baby Bop & BJ, Joe Torre and Andrea McArdle
2001 Tony Bennett, Betty Buckley, Boyz II Men, Jeff Corwin, Tim Curry and the cast of A Christmas Carol, Usher, Billy Gilman, O-Town, LMNT, Kenny G, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jon Secada, Florence Henderson, Valerie Harper, Charles Nelson Reilly, Charlotte Church, Lilian Garcia, Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones, Sesame Street cast, Barney, BJ and Baby Bop, the cast of Scrubs, Ronald McDonald, The Wiggles, The cast of Blue's Clues Live, Joey McIntyre, Willard Scott, The Big Apple Circus, Rudy Giuliani and the Heroes of New York City (tribute to September 11 attacks) and Daniel Rodriguez
2002 Ashanti, LeeAnn Womack, Josh Groban, Baha Men, Matt Gallant & Jeff Corwin, Michael Feinstein, Mario, No Secrets, Natural, Play, Jill Hennessy, F. Murray Abraham, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Vince McMahon, Good Morning, Miami cast, Justin Guarini, Joe Lawrence, Matt Gallant, Jeff Corwin, Patty Duke, Judy Kaye, Eric Martsolf, Joe from Blue's Clues, Barney, BJ and Baby Bop, and The Wiggles & their Friends
2003 Hilary Duff, Chicago, Aaron Carter, Mýa, Kool and the Gang, Matt Gallant & Jeff Corwin, Stacie Orrico, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Judy Collins, Barney, BJ and Baby Bop, Simple Plan, Peter Nero, Ann Hampton Callaway, Peter Cincotti, Old Crow Medicine Show, A Christmas Carol cast, Loonette from The Big Comfy Couch, Harry Connick Jr., The Wiggles, Bernie Williams, and Harvey Fierstein
2004 Kelsey Grammer, Brooke Shields, Jimmy Smits, Andrea Bocelli, Fantasia Barrino, Tony Shalhoub, Joe Namath, Tony Dorsett, Passions cast, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang cast, Sesame Street cast, Deborah Voigt, Steve Irwin, Bering Strait, Nikki Cox, Miss USA Shandi Finnessey, Jennifer Finnigan, Josh Cooke, Barenaked Ladies, Gavin DeGraw, Peter Cetera, José Feliciano, Ryan Cabrera, Nina Sky, Barney, BJ and Baby Bop, Hi-5, Raven-Symoné, Hayley Westenra and Jeff Timmons
2005 Harry Connick Jr., Adrien Brody, Amy Grant, Christina Applegate, LeAnn Rimes, Disney Characters, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Aaron Neville, Brian McKnight, Peter Reckell, Carrie Underwood, Kristin Chenoweth, Sesame Street cast, Tommy Tune, The Beach Boys, Jai Rodriguez, Miss USA Chelsea Cooley, Jeff Corwin, Keegan-Michael Key, Aly & AJ, B5, Natasha Bedingfield, The Cheetah Girls, Rita Coolidge, The Click Five, Tiffany Evans, Michael Feinstein, Brie Larson, Puffy AmiYumi, and Rihanna
2006 Julie Andrews, Laurie Berkner, Chris Brown, RBD, Cheyenne, Ciara, Miley Cyrus (as Hannah Montana), Diana DeGarmo, Gloria Estefan, Renee Fleming, Big Apple Circus, Sesame Street cast, Natalie Grant, Hall & Oates, High School Musical cast, Jonas Brothers, Josh Kelley, Darlene Love, Barry Manilow, Characters from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Sarah McLachlan, Tara Conner, Sandi Patty, John Tartaglia, Ali Larter, Denise Van Outen, and Connie Britton
2007 Ashley Tisdale, Bindi Irwin, Terri Irwin, Corbin Bleu, Dolly Parton, Good Charlotte, Barbie, Jonas Brothers, Lifehouse, Menudo, Ne-Yo, Sesame Street cast, Nikki Blonsky, Characters from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Kay Hanley, Sarah Brightman, Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele, Wynonna Judd, and Jordin Sparks
2008 Kristin Chenoweth, Darius Rucker, James Taylor, Charice Pempengco, Miranda Cosgrove, Miley Cyrus, David Archuleta, Kermit the Frog, Shontelle, Idina Menzel, Trace Adkins, Lang Lang with the "Sesame Street" cast, Characters from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Rick Astley (as part of a Rickroll during the parade), Ashanti, Andy Williams, Harry Connick Jr., Faith Hill, Push Play, and The Clique Girlz
2009 Tiffany Thornton, Kermit the Frog, Keke Palmer, Andrea Bocelli, Bello Nock, Big Apple Circus, Boys Like Girls, Alan Cumming, Billy Currington, Yo Gabba Gabba! cast, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), Gloria Gaynor, Emily Hughes, Jane Krakowski, Katharine McPhee, Sesame Street cast, Mitchel Musso, Pizzarelli Quartet, Jay Sean, Ziggy Marley, and Carly Simon
2010 Kylie Minogue, Carrie Underwood, Kanye West, Jessica Simpson, Gladys Knight, india.arie, Big Time Rush, Big Apple Circus, Arlo Guthrie, Betty Buckley, Ann Hampton Callaway, Miranda Cosgrove, Isabella Collins, Gloriana, Michael Grimm, Juanes, Keri Hilson, Eric Hutchinson, Victoria Justice, Mannheim Steamroller, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), Sesame Street cast and The Muppets, Kyle Swann, Rima Fakih, the cast of Power Rangers Samurai, Crystal Shawanda, Joan Rivers, and Melissa Rivers
2011 Rodney Atkins, Big Apple Circus, Mary J. Blige, Cobra Starship, Neil Diamond, Michael Feinstein, The Fresh Beat Band, Cee Lo Green, Avril Lavigne, Shelby Lynne, Mannheim Steamroller, China Anne McClain, Scotty McCreery, Ingrid Michaelson, The Cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Savannah Outen, the cast of Power Rangers Samurai, Daniel Radcliffe, Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, Willard Scott, Sarah Smithson, Straight No Chaser, United States Naval Academy Glee Club, Johnny Weir, Zendaya and the Nickelodeon Queens
2012 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Trace Adkins, Flo Rida, the Big Apple Circus, Colbie Caillat, Teresa Castillo, Rachel Crow, Thirza Defoe, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Isaak, Carly Rae Jepsen, Karmin, Christian Laettner, Sandra Lee, Mannheim Steamroller, Jennette McCurdy, Don McLean, Megan & Liz, Olivia Culpo, the cast of Sesame Street, Neon Trees, the cast of Power Rangers Megaforce, Cody Simpson, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber, PS22 Chorus, The Wanted, Geoffrey Zakarian, and The Kidz Bop Kids.
2013 The cast of NBC's The Sound of Music Live!, Debby Ryan, Big Apple Circus, Cherokee National Youth Choir, the cast of The Sunny Side Up Show, Cirque du Soleil, Gavin DeGraw, Brett Eldredge, Fall Out Boy, The Summer Set, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), the cast of Sesame Street, Fifth Harmony, Florida Georgia Line, Goo Goo Dolls, Ariana Grande, Jack Hanna, Megan Hilty, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Sandra Lee, Cher Lloyd, Austin Mahone, Richard Simmons, Mannheim Steamroller, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, Bart Oates, Amani Toomer and Hines Ward; Cam Neely and Mike Richter, Kristin Chenoweth, Kellie Pickler, and the cast of Duck Dynasty
2014 The cast of NBC's Peter Pan Live!, the cast of Sesame Street, Renee Fleming, William Blake, Idina Menzel, Before You Exit, Becky G, MKTO, Needtobreathe, Sabrina Carpenter, Lucy Hale, KISS, Cole Swindell, Nick Jonas, The Madden Brothers, Quvenzhané Wallis, The Vamps, Meghan Trainor, Nia Sanchez, Romeo Santos and Pentatonix.
2015 Gloria Estefan, The cast of NBC's The Wiz Live!, Jordin Sparks, the cast of Sesame Street with Questlove, Trey Songz, Jake Owen, Andy Grammer, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T's, Shawn Mendes, Cirque du Soleil's Dreamseeker, Mipso, Daughtry, Sprout cast, Andra Day, Big Apple Circus, Sofia Carson, Rachel Platten, Prince Royce, the cast of School of Rock, MercyMe, Jennifer Nettles, Train, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, and Mariah Carey
2016 The Muppets, The cast of NBC's Hairspray Live!, Brett Eldredge, Chloe and Halle, Daya, De La Soul, Easton Corbin, Fitz and the Tantrums, Jacob Whitesides, Kelsea Ballerini, 2016 Olympic Medalist Laurie Hernandez, Mikey Brannigan, Gianfranco Iannotta, Hannah McFadden, Tatyana McFadden, & Claressa Shields, Maddie and Tae, Aloe Blacc, Ben Rector, Regina Spektor, Lunchmoney Lewis, The cast of Sesame Street with Christopher Jackson, Grace VanderWaal, Tony Bennett, Timeflies, Michelle Carter, Sarah McLachlan, Diamante Electrico, and Johnnyswim
2017 Gwen Stefani, The cast of Sesame Street with Leslie Odom Jr., Olivia Holt, Andra Day, Common, Dustin Lynch, Naomi Galali, Bebe Rexha, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon), Andy Grammer, Wyclef Jean, Patti LaBelle, Sara Evans, 98 Degrees, Flo Rida, Goo Goo Dolls, JoJo Siwa, Kat Graham, Miss America Cara Mund, Lauren Alaina, Smokey Robinson, Nicky Jam, Angelica Hale, Cam, Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi
2018 Bad Bunny, Barenaked Ladies, Bazzi, Ally Brooke, Kane Brown, Brynn Cartelli, Kelly Clarkson, Jack & Jack, John Legend, Leona Lewis, Ella Mai, Tegan Marie, Martina McBride, Rita Ora, Johnny Orlando, Luca Padovan, 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 Kendrick, Tracee Ellis Ross, Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson), Sugarland, Ashley Tisdale, Mackenzie Ziegler
2019 Celine Dion, Billy Porter, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon), Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Ashanti, Black Eyed Peas, NHL Legends Dominic Moore and Eddie Olczyk, Ciara, Josh Dela Cruz, Debbie Gibson, Chris Janson, Chris Young, Chicago, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, former NASA Astronauts Kay Hire and Janet Kavandi, the cast of Sesame Street, NCT 127, Ozuna, Kelly Rowland, That Girl Lay Lay, Tenille Townes, and TLC
2020 Dolly Parton, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon), Sofia Carson, Bebe Rexha, CNCO, Keke Palmer, Brett Young, Tori Kelly, Patti LaBelle, Lauren Alaina, Pentatonix, Karol G, Ally Brooke, Camille Schrier, AJR, Darlene Love, Goo Goo Dolls
2021 The Cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Steve, Joe, & Josh, Jon Batiste, Tai Verdes, Mickey Guyton, Foreigner, Jimmie Allen, Tauren Wells, Jordan Fisher, Girls5eva, Darren Criss, Andy Grammer, Kim Petras, Chris Lane, Rob Thomas, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Aespa, Zoe Wees, Carrie Underwood
2022 Mariah Carey, Betty Who, Fitz and the Tantrums, Jordin Sparks, The Cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Paula Abdul, Ziggy Marley, Big Time Rush, Sean Paul, Gloria, Sasha & Emily Estefan, Joss Stone, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Dionne Warwick, Kirk Franklin, Cam, Miss America Emma Broyles, the cast of Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin, Blanco Brown, Charlie Brown, Ronald McDonald, Grimace, Hamburglar, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and several of their fellow Disney characters, including some of the Disney Princesses

Broadway shows

Every year, cast members from some Broadway shows (usually shows that debuted that year) perform either in the parade or immediately preceding the parade in front of Macy's and before The Rockettes' performance (since NBC broadcasts the parade's start, the performances are shown during the wait for the parade itself). The 2007 parade was notable as it took place during a strike by the I.A.T.S.E. (a stagehands' union). Legally Blonde, the one performing musical affected by the strike, performed in show logo shirts, with makeshift props and no sets. The other three shows that year performed in theaters that were not affected by the strike.

Year Performances
1973 Seesaw
1974 Godspell
1975 Shenandoah
1977 Beetlemania
1978 The King and I
1979 Peter Pan
1980 One Mo' Time, Barnum, Brigadoon, The Pirates of Penzance, A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine,
1981 Pump Boys and Dinettes, Sophisticated Ladies, Camelot
1982 Dreamgirls, Foxfire, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
1983 Taking My Turn, Cats, My One and Only
1984 The Tap Dance Kid
1986 Me and My Girl, Sweet Charity, Big River
1987 Cabaret, Les Misérables, Teddy And Alice, Starlight Express, Into The Woods
1988 Godspell, Forbidden Broadway, Into the Woods
1989 Meet Me in St. Louis
1991 Grand Hotel, The Secret Garden, Miss Saigon, The Will Rogers Follies
1992 Annie Warbucks, Jelly's Last Jam, Guys and Dolls, Falsettos
1993 Raffi on Broadway, My Fair Lady, The Who's Tommy, Kiss of the Spider Woman
1994 Beauty and the Beast, Grease, Show Boat, Damn Yankees
1995 Hello, Dolly!, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Smokey Joe's Cafe
1996 The King and I, Rent, Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk, Chicago
1997 Titanic, Side Show, Street Corner Symphony, The Sound of Music
1998 Cabaret, Footloose, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Annie Get Your Gun, Peter Pan
1999 Saturday Night Fever, Fosse, Swing, Kiss Me, Kate
2000 The Music Man, Seussical, Swing, Annie Get Your Gun
2001 Mamma Mia!, 42nd Street, Thou Shalt Not, Contact
2002 Hairspray, Oklahoma!, The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie
2003 Wicked, The Boy From Oz, Little Shop of Horrors, Never Gonna Dance
2004 Bombay Dreams, All Shook Up, La Cage aux Folles, Wonderful Town, Good Vibrations
2005 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Jersey Boys, Sweet Charity
2006 A Chorus Line, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Color Purple, Spamalot
2007 Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein, Xanadu
2008 White Christmas, In the Heights, Hair, South Pacific, The Little Mermaid
2009 Billy Elliot, Bye, Bye Birdie, Hair, Shrek
2010 Memphis, American Idiot, Elf, Million Dollar Quartet
2011 Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Sister Act, Newsies
2012 Annie, Bring It On, Elf, Cinderella, Nice Work If You Can Get It
2013 Matilda, Motown, Pippin, Kinky Boots
2014 A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Honeymoon in Vegas, The Last Ship, On the Town, Side Show
2015 On Your Feet!, The King and I, Finding Neverland, Something Rotten!, Fiddler on the Roof, School of Rock
2016 Holiday Inn, Waitress, Cats, Paramour
2017 Anastasia, SpongeBob SquarePants, Once on This Island, Dear Evan Hansen
2018 Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, The Prom
2019 Ain't Too Proud, Beetlejuice, Hadestown, Tina[34]
2020 Hamilton, Jagged Little Pill, Mean Girls, Ain't Too Proud
2021 Six, Moulin Rouge!, Wicked
2022 Funny Girl, Some Like It Hot, A Beautiful Noise, The Lion King

Marching bands

Year Performances
1971 The Cisco Junior College Wrangler Band and Wrangler Belles (Cisco, Texas), The Monroe Girls Corp (Monroe, Georgia), McDonald's All-American Marching Band (U.S.), Liberty Colonial High School Marching Grenadiers (Orlando, Florida), The Archbishop Wood High School Marching Band (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), CMCC Warriors drum & bugle corps (Bronx, New York), Germantown Wall of Sound Marching Band (Germantown, Wisconsin), The Syracuse University Marching Band (Syracuse, New York), Wagner College Seahawk Marching Band (Staten Island)
1972 Hawthorne Caballeros Drum and Bugle Corps (Hawthorne, New Jersey), Huntington Thunderers (Huntington, New York), New York Police Department Emerald Society Pipe Band (New York City, New York), Dover High School Marching Tornado Band (Dover, Ohio), Western High School Marching Pioneers and Drill Team (Davie, Florida), Kokomo High School Wildkat Marching Band (Kokomo, Indiana), Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Marching Colonials (Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania), Cardinal Dougherty High School Band (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), McDonald's All-American Marching Band (U.S.), Palmyra String Band (Berlin, New Jersey), The Valley Stream South High School Color Guard (Valley Stream, New York), Racine Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps (Racine, Wisconsin), Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band (Evanston, Illinois)
1973 The Cisco Junior College Wrangler Band and Wrangler Belles (Cisco, Texas), Mainland High School Marching Buccaneer Band (Daytona Beach, Florida), Highland Park High School Marching Polar Bears (Highland Park, Michigan), McDonald's All-American Marching Band (U.S.), Santa Monica College Marching Band (Santa Monica, California), George Washington High School Patriot Band, Wintersville High School Band, Chambersburg Area Senior High School Marching Band (Franklin County, Pennsylvania), Colonial High School Marching Band
1987 Albertville High School Marching Band, Albertville, Alabama; Bergenfield High School Marching Band, Bergenfield New Jersey; Danbury High School Marching Band, Danbury Connecticut; J. M. Tate High School Marching Band, Pensacola, Florida; Carlisle High School Marching Band, Carlisle Pennsylvania, "Big Green Machine"; East Carteret High School Marching Band, Beaufort North Carolina; All American High School McDonald's Band, (Band members met one week prior to Parade with 2 students from every state); Dalton High School Marching Catamount Band, Dalton Georgia; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Band, "Highty-Tighties" Regimental Band of Virginia Tech; Live Oak High School Marching Band, Morgan Hill California; Greenbrier High School Marching Band, Lewisburg West Virginia; Southport High School Marching Band, Indianapolis Indiana; George Rogers Clark High School Marching Band, Winchester, Kentucky
2013 Concord High School Marching Band, Elkhart, Indiana; Lakota West High School Marching Band, West Chester, Ohio; Macy's Great American Marching Band; James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes, Harrisonburg, Virginia; Marian Catholic High School Marching Band, Chicago Heights, Illinois; Mountain View High School Marching Band, Mesa, Arizona; New York City Police Department Marching Band, New York; Ooltewah High School Marching Band, Tennessee; Tarpon Springs High School Marching Band, Florida; Union High School Marching Band, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Quantico Marine Corps Band, Quantico, Virginia; University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band, Amherst, Massachusetts
2014 American Fork High School Marching Band, Utah; Bahamas All Stars Marching Band, Nassau, Bahamas; Baldwinsville High School Marching Band, Baldwinsville, New York; Center Grove High School Marching Band, Greenwood, Indiana; Winston Churchill High School Marching Band, San Antonio, Texas; Paul Laurence Dunbar High School Marching Band, Lexington, Kentucky; Foothill High School Marching Band, Henderson, Nevada; Georgia State University Marching Band, Atlanta, Georgia; Macy's Great American Marching Band; Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps Anniversary Corps, Madison, Wisconsin; New York City Police Department Marching Band, New York; Western Carolina University Marching Band, Cullowhee, North Carolina
2015 Macy's Great American Marching Band; Stephen F. Austin State University Marching Band, Nacogdoches, Texas; Cavalier Marching Band (University of Virginia), Charlottesville, Virginia; New York City Police Department Marching Band, New York; Gulf Coast High School Marching Band, Naples, Florida; Walled Lake Central High School Viking Marching Band, Walled Lake, Michigan; Munford High School Marching Band, Munford, Tennessee; Nogales High School Noble Regiment Marching Band, La Puente, California; Lewis Cass High School Marching Band, Walton, Indiana; New York City Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes & Drums, New York; North Hardin High School Marching Band, Radcliff, Kentucky; West Chester University Marching Band, West Chester, Pennsylvania; Marching Illini (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign), Champaign, Illinois
2016 Cary Senior High School marching band, Cary, North Carolina; Grain Valley High School Marching Eagles, Grain Valley, Missouri; Greendale High School Marching Band, Greendale, Wisconsin; Harrison High School marching band, Kennesaw, Georgia; Hawaii All State Marching Band; Hendrickson High School Hawk Band, Pflugerville, Texas; Newsome High School Marching Band, Lithia, Florida; Prospect High School Marching Knights, Mt. Prospect, Illinois; West Point Band, West Point, New York; West Virginia University Mountaineer Marching Band, Morgantown, West Virginia; Macy's Great American Marching Band; New York City Police Department Marching Band, New York
2017 Prairie View A & M University, Prairie View, Texas; Nation Ford H.S. Fort Mill, South Carolina; Trumbull High School, Trumbull, CT; West Harrison High School, Gulfport, MS; Spirit of America Cheer Marching Band; The U.S. Air Force Band and Honor Guard, Washington, D.C.; New York City Police Department; Ohio University, Athens, Ohio; Colony High School, Palmer, AK; Spirit of America Dance Stars; Rosemount High School, Rosemount, MN; Rockford High School, Rockford, MI; Davis High School, Kaysville, UT
2018 CNS H.S. Northstars marching band, Cicero, New York; Grants Pass H.S. marching band & color guard, Grants Pass, Oregon; Homewood Patriot Band, Homewood, Alabama; JMU Marching Royal Dukes, Harrisonburg, Virginia; Keller High School marching band, Keller, Texas; Lafayette H.S. Mighty Lion marching band, Lafayette, Louisiana; Macy's Great American Marching Band; New York City Police Department Marching Band, New York; The Ohio State University Marching Band, Columbus, Ohio; Park Vista High School marching band performers, Lake Worth, Florida; Riverside City College Marching Tigers, Riverside, California; Woodland High School Wildcat marching band, Cartersville, Georgia
2019 Awesome Original Second Time Arounders of Saint Petersburg, Florida; Blue Springs High School of Kansas City, Missouri; Catalina Foothills High School of Tucson, Arizona; Franklin Regional School District of Murrysville, Pennsylvania; Madison Central High School of Richmond, Kentucky; Martin Luther King, Jr. High School of Lithonia, Georgia; Morgan State University Magnificent Marching Machine; NYPD; Ronald Reagan High School of San Antonio, Texas; Western Carolina University Pride of the Mountains; Macy's Great American Marching Band
2020 New York City Police Department Marching Band, (New York), West Point Marching Band (West Point, New York), FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums (New York), Heritage of Pride Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps (New York)
2021 Union High School Renegade Regiment (Tulsa, Oklahoma), Macy's Great American Marching Band and Graduated Alumni Band, New York City Police Department Marching Band, (New York), Centerville High School Jazz Band (Centerville, Ohio), University of Alabama Million Dollar Band (Tuscaloosa, Alabama), Hampton University Marching Force (Hampton, Virginia), Sound of Brownsburg Marching Band (Brownsburg, Indiana), Lincoln-Way High School Marching Band (New Lenox and Frankfort, Illinois), Trabuco Hills High School's Thundering Mustangs Marching Unit (Mission Viejo, California), The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders "Marching Stars" (Austin, Texas)
2022 Macy's Great American Marching Band, Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction (Columbia, South Carolina), New York City Police Department Marching Band, (New York), Tarpon Springs Outdoor Performance Ensemble (Tarpon, Florida), Heritage of Pride Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps (New York), University of Missouri’s Marching Mizzou (Columbia, Missouri), Clovis North Educational Center Bronco Band (Fresno, California), Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band (Brookings, South Dakota), Defines Marching Band (Xalapa, Mexico), Bourbon County High School Marching Colonels (Paris, Kentucky), Vandegrift High School Viper Marching Band & Dance Company (Austin, Texas), Carmel High School Marching Greyhounds (Carmel, Indiana)

Special guests

For the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in 2011, the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade invited family members from Tuesday's Children (a nonprofit organization that benefits families directly impacted by terrorism) to cut the ribbon at the start of the parade with NBC's Al Roker and led the parade with Amy Kule, the Parade's executive producer.

Television coverage

Tom the Turkey and Underdog arriving at Macy's Herald Square during the 1979 edition of the parade.

More than 44 million people typically watch the parade on television on an annual basis. It was first televised locally in New York City in 1939 as an experimental broadcast on NBC's W2XBS (now WNBC).[35] No television stations broadcast the parade in 1940 or 1941, but local broadcasts resumed when the parade returned in 1945 after the wartime suspension.[36][37] The parade began its network television appearances on CBS in 1948, the year that major, regular television network programming began.[38][39] NBC has been the official broadcaster of the event since 1953. However, CBS (which has a studio in Times Square) also carries unauthorized coverage as The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS.[40] The parade committee can endorse an official broadcaster as the parade takes place in public (however, they cannot award exclusive rights as other events, such as sporting events, which take place inside restricted-access stadiums, have the authority to do so). The rerouting of the parade starting from 2012 (see below) moved the parade out of the view of CBS's cameras and thus made it significantly more difficult for the network to cover the parade. However, the route now passes along the west side of the network's Black Rock headquarters building along Sixth Avenue (with the hosts stationed on a temporary tower platform at the Sixth/W. 53rd St. corner of the building), and CBS nevertheless continues to cover the parade as before.

Since 2003, the parade has been broadcast in Spanish on the sister network of NBCUniversal (Telemundo) hosted by María Celeste Arrarás from 2003 to 2006. The parade won nine Emmy Awards for outstanding achievements in special event coverage since 1979. Since 2020, the parade also provided audio description via a second audio program channel.[41]

At first, the telecasts were only an hour long. The telecast then expanded to two hours in 1961,[42] reduced to 90 minutes in 1962, reverted to two hours in 1965, and expanded to all three hours of the parade in 1969.[43] The event began to be broadcast in color in 1960.[44] NBC airs the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade live in the Eastern Time Zone as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as the network uses broadcast feeds from that time zone (which due to time differences starts at 10:00 a.m. AST), but tape delays the telecast elsewhere in the continental U.S. and territories from the Central Time Zone westward to allow the program to air in the same 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. timeslot across its owned-and-operated and affiliated stations (except for Guam, which airs it the day after Thanksgiving at 9:00 a.m. local time, as the territory is located west of the International Date Line and therefore a day ahead from the rest of the United States); since the morning program's expansion to three hours in 2000 (it eventually expanded to four hours in 2007), NBC's Today only airs for two hours on Thanksgiving morning, pre-empting the last two talk-focused hours of the show for the day. NBC began airing a same-day afternoon rebroadcast of the parade in 2009 (replacing the annual broadcast of Miracle on 34th Street, which NBC had lost the broadcast television rights to that year). CBS's unauthorized coverage airs live in most time zones, allowing viewers to see the parade as much as two hours before the official NBC coverage airs in their area; CBS still broadcasts the parade on delay on the West Coast, immediately after the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving game in even-numbered years when CBS carries it, or at 9:00 a.m. local time in odd-numbered years when they carry the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving game.[40]

From 1963 to 1972, NBC's coverage was hosted by Lorne Greene (who was then appearing on NBC's Bonanza) and Betty White. David Hartman and Karen Grassle hosted the parade in 1974, With Ed McMahon serving as a man on the street host, He would become a main host in 1977, until 1981. Since 1982, NBC has appointed at least one of the hosts of Today to emcee the television broadcast, starting with Bryant Gumbel, who hosted the parade until 1984. From 1987 to 1997, NBC's coverage was hosted by longtime Today weather anchor Willard Scott. During that period, their co-hosts included Mary Hart, Sandy Duncan, and Today colleagues Deborah Norville and Katie Couric. In recent years, NBC's coverage has been hosted by Today anchors Matt Lauer (from 1998 to 2017), Meredith Vieira (from 2006 to 2010), Ann Curry (2011), Savannah Guthrie (since 2012) and Hoda Kotb (since 2018) as well as Today weather anchor Al Roker who usually joins the producers of the parade or the CEO of Macy's and special guests in the ribbon cutting ceremony. In 2022, Dylan Dreyer filled in for Roker, who was recovering due to health complications involving blood clots,[45] while Kotb hosted the ribbon cutting ceremony segment when the parade reached Herald Square, rather than when it usually takes place in the Upper West Side.

From the early 1970s until 1993, the television broadcast was produced and directed by Dick Schneider; since 1994, it has been executive produced by Brad Lachman (who has otherwise been known for producing reality television series), produced by Bill Bracken and directed by veteran sitcom director Gary Halvorson. Announcements during the telecast were first provided by Bill McCord, then followed in succession by Bill Wendell, Lynda Lopez (the telecast's only female announcer), and longtime Saturday Night Live and NBC staff announcer Don Pardo; from circa 2000 to 2010, announcer duties were helmed by Joel Godard (who also served as the announcer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien for much of that period), and then were assumed by Today announcer Les Marshak with the 2011 telecast. Milton DeLugg served as the telecast's music director until his death in 2015.

CBS's coverage was originally part of the All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade, a broadcast that included footage from multiple parades across North America, including parades at Detroit, Philadelphia and Disneyland (the latter was later replaced by Opryland USA in 1997 and after that Miami Beach), and taped footage of the Toronto Santa Claus Parade (taped usually the second or third weekend of November) and the Aloha Floral Parade in Honolulu (which usually took place in September). Beginning in 2004, however, CBS has focused exclusively on the Macy's parade, but avoids using the Macy's name due to the lack of an official license. To compensate for the fact that the Broadway and music performances can only appear on NBC, CBS adds their own pre-recorded performances (also including Broadway shows, although different from the ones that are part of the official parade and recorded off-site) to fill out the special.[46] With the lack of a live parade for 2020, CBS aired The CBS Thanksgiving Day Celebration—which was hosted by Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight of Entertainment Tonight, and featured highlights and new performances.[47]

For the 1997 parade, MTV guest reporters, Beavis and Butt-head, with host Kurt Loder, provided their usual style of commentary on aspects of the parade, and of their take on Thanksgiving in general. The special, titled Beavis and Butt-head Do Thanksgiving, included a balloon of Beavis and Butt-head spectating from their couch. The balloon was not participating in the parade, but stationed on top of a building alongside the parade route.

Radio coverage is provided by Audacy's WINS (1010 AM) in New York City. It is one of the few times throughout the year in which that station breaks away from its all-news radio format.

From 2016 to 2019, Verizon produced a 360-degree virtual reality live telecast of the parade, with minimal commentary, made available through YouTube.[48] The 2019 edition, produced in cooperation with NBC, had more extensive production, adding hosts Terry Crews, Lilly Singh and Ross Matthews, also adding "virtual balloons" generated through viewers' votes.[49] Verizon's simulcast of the 2020 event ran in a traditional flat, single-perspective format, and was the very first to be broadcast internationally, not just in the United States, thru Verizon's and Macy's YouTube and Twitter handles. Verizon did not simulcast the 2021 event in either format.

The first ever live international broadcast of the parade occurred in 2020, when Philippine cable television channel TAP TV became the first foreign-based broadcaster to air the parade's live telecast. Before that, the broadcasts were delayed and aired on Black Friday on what is now CNN Philippines until 2013. In addition, delayed broadcasts are aired to United States military installations overseas thru American Forces Network hours following the original U.S. broadcast.

Current hosts

Past hosts

Parade route

The Parade has always taken place in Manhattan. The parade originally started from 145th Street in Harlem and ended at Macy's flagship in Herald Square (at the intersection of Broadway, Sixth Avenue, and 34th Street), making a 6-mile (9.7 km) route.[5]

In the 1930s, the balloons were inflated around 110th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, near the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The parade proceeded south on Amsterdam Avenue to 106th Street and turned east. At Columbus Avenue, the balloons had to be lowered to go under the Ninth Avenue El. Past the El tracks, the parade proceeded east on 106th Street to Central Park West and turned south to terminate at Macy's flagship.

A new route was established for the 2009 parade. From 77th Street and Central Park West, the route went south along Central Park to Columbus Circle, then east along Central Park South. The parade would then make a right turn at 7th Avenue and go south to Times Square. At 42nd Street, the parade turned left and went east, then at 6th Avenue turned right again at Bryant Park. Heading south on 6th Avenue, the parade turned right at 34th Street (at Herald Square) and proceeded west to the terminating point at 7th Avenue where the floats are taken down.[50] The 2009 route change eliminated Broadway completely, where the parade has traveled down for decades. The City of New York said that the new route would provide more space for the parade, and more viewing space for spectators. Another reason for implementing the route change is the city's subsequent transformation of Broadway into a pedestrian-only zone at Times Square.[51]

Another new route was introduced with the 2012 parade. This change is similar to the 2009 route, but eliminated Times Square altogether, instead going east from Columbus Circle along Central Park South, then south on Sixth Avenue to Herald Square.[52][53]

Balloon teams race through Columbus Circle due to higher winds in this flat area, making it an unsuitable observation location. New York City officials preview the parade route and try to eliminate as many potential obstacles as possible, including rotating overhead traffic signals out of the way. Viewing is restricted from 38th Street through the end of the parade route, as this area is used for the NBC telecast.[54]


On November 25, 1993, strong gusts of wind pushed the Sonic the Hedgehog balloon into a lamppost at Columbus Circle. The lamppost damaged the balloon and the top of the post broke off while inside the balloon, dragging it down, injuring a child and an off-duty police officer in the process.[55][56]

On November 27, 1997, very high winds pushed the Cat in the Hat balloon into a lamppost.[57] The falling debris struck a parade-goer, fracturing her skull and leaving her in a coma for a month. Balloon size regulations were implemented the next year, eliminating larger balloons such as the Cat in the Hat.[58]

On November 24, 2005, the M&M's balloon collided with a streetlight in Times Square; parts of the light fell on two sisters, who suffered minor injuries. As a result, new safety rules were introduced.[59] The M&M's balloon was retired in 2006.[60]

Similar parades

Other American cities also have parades held on Thanksgiving, none of which are run by Macy's. The nation's oldest Thanksgiving parade (the Gimbels parade, which has had many sponsors over the years, and is now known as the 6abc Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade) was first held in Philadelphia in 1920. Other cities with parades on the holiday include the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago, Illinois and parades in Plymouth, Massachusetts; Seattle, Washington; Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; and Fountain Hills, Arizona. There is also a second Thanksgiving balloon parade within the New York metropolitan area, the UBS balloon parade in Stamford, Connecticut, located 30 miles (48 km) away; that parade is held the Sunday before Thanksgiving, so as not to compete with the parade in New York City. It usually does not duplicate any balloon characters. The Celebrate the Season Parade, held the last Saturday in November in Pittsburgh, was sponsored by Macy's from 2006 to 2013 after Macy's bought the Kaufmann's store chain that had sponsored that parade prior to 2006.

Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's

Since 2002, Macy's Studios has partnered with the Universal Orlando Resort (owned by NBC parent NBCUniversal) to bring balloons and floats from New York City to the theme park in Florida every holiday season in an event known as the Macy's Holiday Parade. The parade is performed daily and includes the iconic Santa Claus float. Performers from the Orlando area are cast as various clowns, and the park used to invite guests to be "balloon handlers" for the parade.[61] In 2017, the Macy's Holiday Parade was renamed to Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's. In 2020, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the parade could not be run. Instead, a walkthrough experience known as Universal's Holiday Experience Featuring Macy's Balloons took place throughout the holiday season, displaying various floats and balloons that would normally be seen in the parade.

In popular culture

  • The 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street, begins with the parade, as do most of its remakes. The film portrays the real Santa Claus being hired to work at Macy's after its own Santa impersonator gets drunk during the parade. NBC, in its telecasts, often showed the original 1947 film on Thanksgiving afternoon, following its coverage of the parade and the National Dog Show.
  • The 1984 film Broadway Danny Rose features a sequence in which Danny (Woody Allen) and Tina (Mia Farrow) are chased into a warehouse containing Parade materials and helium gas supplies; near the end of the film we see Tina at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade itself. It is the 1982 Parade, in which we briefly see Sammy Davis, Jr. Milton Berle, who has a small guest role in the film playing himself, was also featured in the Parade, but is not seen in this sequence.
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Mom and Pop Store", Elaine wins a spot on the parade route for her boss, Mr. Pitt, to hold the Woody Woodpecker balloon.
  • The first Thanksgiving-themed episode of Friends centered on the accidental release of the (unused at the time) "Underdog" balloon.
  • The parade is featured in the children's book We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story and its animated film adaptation where Rex mistakenly befriends a dinosaur balloon.
  • "Macy's Day Parade" is a song by Green Day.
  • In 2008, a Coca-Cola CGI ad aired in the United States during Super Bowl XLII. The commercial's plot centered around Underdog and fictional Stewie Griffin balloons chasing a Coke bottle-shaped balloon through New York City. The spot ended with a Charlie Brown balloon holding the Coke balloon. The advertisement won a Silver Lion Award at the annual Lions International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France, that year, and the clip of the commercial with the Griffin balloon was featured in a Macy's commercial in October 2008 (along with clips from Miracle on 34th Street, I Love Lucy, Seinfeld and other media where Macy's was mentioned). The commercial was also referenced in an episode of Family Guy. Stewie, one of its main characters, is seen watching the parade only to see the balloon of himself in the parade.
  • In the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters, the Ghostbusters fight a haunted balloon parade including several Macy's balloons from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.

See also



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Further reading

External links