This year marks the 95th anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and it’s back live on the streets of New York City and on NBC TV, hosted by the Today show’s Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker, on Thursday, November 25, from 9 am-noon in all time zones.
After last year’s modified pandemic-time version, the iconic holiday tradition, established in 1924, will once again welcome live spectators along the parade route, which runs two-and-a-half miles from 77th Street and Central Park West, east to Sixth Avenue, and then south to 34th Street, culminating at the performance area in front of Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square. Because of filming, 38th-34th Streets between Sixth and Seventh Avenues are restricted; viewers will not be permitted to enter.
In consideration of COVID-19 health and safety practices, Macy’s has partnered closely with New York City and State to create a production plan aligned with local and state government protocols and current CDC guidelines. Those include, for all volunteer participants and staff (which have been reduced by 10-20%), verification of full vaccination status, or for those with extenuating circumstances, proof of a negative test administered by Macy’s medical consultant, in addition to wearing face coverings. Spectators will be managed by the NYPD and are required to wear masks and to observe social distancing along the route on the city’s wide streets and sidewalks.
Along with the spectacular array of giant balloons, fabulous floats, marching bands, and the appearance of Santa at the end of the parade to launch the Christmas season, an exciting roster of stars from the stage and screen are scheduled to perform. Among the Broadway luminaries slated to make float appearances are Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked), Darren Criss (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), and Jordan Fisher (Dear Evan Hansen), along with Sara Bareilles (Waitress) and Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton), and their co-stars Paula Pell and Busy Philipps from Peacock’s musical-comedy series Girls5eva.
Casts from the Broadway musicals SIX, Moulin Rouge!, and Wicked, and company members from NBC’s Annie Live! – a TV adaptation of the original Broadway production that’s set to air in primetime on Thursday, December 2 – will entertain viewers with popular numbers from their shows. And the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, who have been participating in the big event since 1952, will deliver their signature high kicks and precision dancing.
If you’re planning to go in person, please note that these acts will not be performing on the parade route, and grandstand tickets for bleacher seats at the Macy’s stage in the restricted viewing area are not available to the general public (or the press). The performances can only be seen on NBC’s national broadcast (also streaming on Peacock and in a Spanish-language simulcast on Telemundo, hosted by Ana Jurka and Carlos Adyan, with live on-the-street reports from Freddy Lomelí). CBS will host its own television broadcast of The Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will feature performances by the Broadway casts of Waitress and Chicago.