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The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Celebrates 90!

On Thursday, November 24, 2016 at 9 a.m. the 90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin its familiar route through the streets of New York. More than 8,000 people will participate in the parade, including clowns, balloon handlers and marching bands, while 3.5 million people line the streets along the parade route to see it in person. Another 50 million watch the parade on television. The parade has been an annual tradition since 1924 — and each year it seems to get bigger and better. This year’s line-up will feature 17 giant character balloons, 27 floats, over 1,000 cheerleaders/dancers, over 1,000 clowns, 12 marching bands, many celebrities, and culminates in the much-anticipated arrival of Santa Claus!

The parade begins its journey starting at Central Park West from 77th Street to Columbus Circle along Central Park South to 6th Avenue, down 6th Avenue to 34th Street and along 34th Street to Macy’s Herald Square (34th Street).

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Public Viewing Areas:

  • Central Park West: West side of street from 70th Street to Columbus Circle & east side of street from 70th to 65th
  • Columbus Circle: West side of street
  • 6th Avenue: between 58th & 34th Streets
  • 34th Street: south side of street between Broadway & 7th Avenue
  • While there are private events along the parade route at hotels and restaurants, the bleacher area is reserved for Macy’s guests and there are no tickets for sale for those spots.

In order to get a good viewing spot, many people arrive before 6:30 a.m. the morning of the parade to stake out space along the parade route. Be sure to wear plenty of warm clothes and bring a thermos full of coffee or hot cocoa, as it can be quite cold. The duration of the parade depends on where you view it from — near the beginning of the route, it will last about 1 1/2 hours, closer to Macy’s, the parade will last closer to 3 hours. You may consider booking a hotel room with a view of the Thanksgiving Day Parade route. The parade will be broadcast live on NBC from 9 a.m. until noon.

BALOON INFLATION EVENT

It takes a lot of helium to keep the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade balloons afloat. Visitors who want a preview of the parade balloons won’t want to miss the opportunity to see the balloons grow at the Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation that takes place on Thanksgiving-eve on the Upper West Side. The balloons are inflated at the American Museum of Natural History and there is a designated viewing path for observers.

When is the Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation?

The balloon inflation takes place the afternoon/evening before Thanksgiving Day. This year the balloon inflation will be Wednesday, November 23 from 3-10 p.m.

Where is the Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation?

The public entrance to the Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation is located at 79th Street and Columbus Avenue. Best subway to the Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation: B or C.


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