Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Performers, How to Watch and Everything You Need to Know

Thanksgiving has officially begun again — and with it comes the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

An annual tradition since 1924, the parade — held in New York City and broadcast to millions yearly — features various floats and balloons, complete with performances and musical acts to ring in the holiday season. As a live event, however, the occasion also includes the once-a-year opportunity to watch the event in person — and, as it nears, attendees and viewers alike are likely wondering where and how to view the parade, who is performing and what, exactly, the occasion will put on display when it begins on Thanksgiving morning.

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We’ve outlined everything you need to know about this year’s parade, from the anticipated floats and acts to the best places to watch the event. Below, discover everything you need to know about the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- "2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" -- Pictured: Mariah Carey -- (Photo by: Cara Howe/NBC via Getty Images)
Mariah Carey performs at the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Nov. 24Cara Howe/NBC via Getty Images

What is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual parade held by its namesake department store in New York City on Thanksgiving Day. Every year, numerous brands feature large balloons and floats in the lineup, with additional entertainment hailing from musical performances, dancers, bands and more.

When did the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade first begin?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was first held in 1924, featuring Macy’s employees, entertainers and animals from the Central Park Zoo in New York City, according to I Love New York. The occasion featured a route from Harlem to the retailer’s 34th Street store, with 250,000 people in attendance.

When does the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade start — and how can you watch it?

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air at 8:30 a.m. EST on NBC and Peacock. Viewers can tune in at this time on televisions, computers and mobile devices. The event also marks the first time that the parade — which celebrates its 97th anniversary this year — will begin 30 minutes earlier, compared to past parades that aired live at 9:00 a.m. EST.

Macy's, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thanksgiving, parades, floats, performances, holidays, holiday season
Santa Claus appears in the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Who is performing in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

This year, Cher is one of the main headlining acts in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, in addition to Enhyphen, Brandy, Ashley Park, Pentatonix and more. The event will also include 11 of the nation’s top marching bands, 29 clown crews and dance performances from groups including the Radio City Rockettes, Big Apple Circus and Tiptoe Winter Guard, among others. Broadway performances will also be strongly featured in the parade, including “& Juliet,” “Back to the Future: The Musical,” “Shucked” and more.

Which brands will have floats in the 2023 parade?

Every year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features a wide array of intricate parade floats and massive balloons from various food, fashion and lifestyle brands. This year’s lineup includes floats sponsored by Disney, Hallmark, Kinder and Green Giant, complete with characters including the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Baby Shark and Peanuts. The 2023 parade’s balloons will prominently feature various cartoon and pop culture characters, including Snoopy, Spongebob Squarepants, Ronald McDonald and numerous others.

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
The Pikachu float in the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.Shutterstock

How can you attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Civilians can attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in-person in New York City at 6 a.m. EST, according to the parade’s website. Those wanting to see floats up-close can view them at numerous points in the event’s 2.5-mile-long route from Central Park West through 6th Avenue. However, parts of the route do restrict public viewing, including between West 59th & 60th Streets and Macy’s Herald Square — which marks the parade’s final stop.

About the Author:

Aaron Royce is the Digital Editor for Footwear News, where he writes stories on trending news, celebrity style, collaborations and in-depth profile interviews. Prior to joining Footwear News, Aaron wrote for publications including PAPER, Grazia and the Daily Front Row. He currently holds a B.S. in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Launch Gallery: The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Through the Years, From 1929–2018

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