New York City Event Guide | Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

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New York City Event Guide

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Event Information


Parade Participants

The Great Balloon Blowup

Where to View the Parade

Thursday November 26 2009 | 9:00A to 12:00N

New Route For 2010

Central Park West from 77th Street south to Columbus Circle
Central Park South east from Columbus Circle to 7th Avenue
7th Avenue south to 42nd Street
42 Street east to 6th Avenue
6th Avenue south to 34th Street
34th Street from 6th Avenue west to 7th Avenue

Directions Take any subway to any stop between 42nd Street and 72nd Street | Viewing is restricted in the performance area between 34th & 38th Streets, so the 34th Street subway stops will not get you anywhere fast
Do Not Drive!

More info 212-494-4495 | Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Broadcast WNBC Ch 4 | 9:00A to 12:00N



Marching Bands Adair County High School Marching Band, KY | Choctawhatchee Style Marchers, FL | East Brooklyn Soul Tigers Marching Band, NY | Franklin Regional High School Band, PA | Harrison High School Marching Band, GA | Macy's Great American Marching Band | Morgantown High School Red & Blue Marching Band, WV | New York Police Department Marching Band, NY | Pickerington Marching Tigers, OH | Pittsburg High School Pirates Marching Show Band, CA | The Ballou Majestic Marching Knights, DC | Towson University Tiger Marching Band, MD

Performers & Celebrities  Alan Cumming | Alvin Ailey Children's Company | Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drum | Fred Hill Brief Case Drill Team | Heartbeat Jump Rope Team | Jane Krakowski | Mike Miller Dancers | Polynesian Dance Ensemble | Special Needs Color Guard of America | US Twirling All Stars | More to be announced...

From Broadway  the casts of Billy Elliott, Bye Bye Birdie, Hair and Shrek

Balloons  Abby Cadabby | Buzz Lightyear | Dora the Explorer | Energizer Bunny | Horton the Elephant | Kermit the Frog | Pikachu | Pillsbury Dough Boy | Pokeball | Ronald McDonald | Sailor Mickey | Shrek | Smurf | Snoopy the Flying Ace | Spider-Man | SpongeBob SquarePants | Super Hello Kitty

Floats  123 Sesame | Big Apple | Bountiful Harvest Cornucopia | Bridge to the Future | Care Bears | Castle of Dreams | CeleBEARation Clock Tower | Jolly Polly Pirate Ship | M & M's on Broadway | Marion Carol Showboat | Mike Miller Pep Rally | Musical Innovation Bigger Then Life | Shine On | Smurf Mushroom | Snoopy's Dog House | True Spirit of Thanksgiving | Winter Wonderland in Central Park | Woodland Family Gathering | Tom Turkey | Santa's Workshp | and it's all followed, of course, by Santa & Mrs Claus

Clowns  Simply bunches and bunches of clowns: Baseball Clowns | Class Clowns | Funny Business Clowns | Holiday Clowns | Santa's Toy Box Clowns | Sleepy Clowns | And many more...

And a Whole Bunch More  Big Apple Circus | Camp Broadway | McDonald's Big Red Shoe Car | New York Police Department Motorcycle & Mounted Units | Planters Nut Mobile

The Great Balloon Blowup

Wednesday November 25 2009 | 3:00P to 10:00P


Grab a cup of hot chocolate and stop by the Upper West Side the night before to watch your favorite characters come to life. The fantastic balloons rise from the streets surrounding the Museum of Natural History (77th to 81st Streets | between Central Park West & Columbus Avenues). You enter at 77th and Columbus, wind your way around the big block, and exit the area at 81st Street. The work starts early but most of the characters don't start to take shape until about 8:00P, and many are still rising in the wee morning hours. Keep in mind that it's almost always cold so be sure to dress warmly. And hey, it looks like the restroom facilities are getting better. According the folks at Macy's "these luxurious loos on wheels have all of the comforts of home, including hardwood floors, wallpaper and fully functional sinks." 

View the Parade

Note The now-usual (sorry to say) security procedures are in effect: no backpacks, oversized bags, coolers and such allowed and everybody is subject to search

We think the best viewing is just south of the beginning of the route, from 70th Street to around 60th Street along Central Park West is neat. As the contingents start on their trek, everybody is excited and eager to strut their stuff. This is the best spot if you don't have a lot of time, the parade should completely pass by in about 90 minutes

Things get a bit confusing and crowded in Columbus Circle area with camera platforms and bleachers (not open to the public). Any areas available for viewing are a bit further away from the marchers

Can't be sure as yet, but with the route now turning east at Columbus Circle along Central Park South, this might not be a bad place for viewing

7th Avenue, a bit wider than Broadway, also comes with wider sidewalks. The stretch down to 42nd Street might make for a comfortable viewing area. Then again, amazing, neck-straining views of the giant balloons will make any kid's day

We imagine that in the past anything from 42nd Street and  south along the parade route will be much more crowded and with many of the sidewalk viewers turned away from the performance area in Herald Square, restricted from 34th to 38th Streets

We tried the very end of the parade route one year, 34th Street from 6th to 7th Avenue and it doesn't have quite the same excitement. Tired and cold marchers make the turn for home after their time on television and it is very, very crowded -- why does everyone think they can watch at Herald Square? If this is your only option approach from the 7th Avenue side, it's almost impossible to get through from 6th Avenue


One of our frequently asked questions is "How does my group participate in the Thanksgiving Day parade?" Just drop a line to: Band Selection Committee, Macy's Annual Events, 16th Floor, 151 W 34th Street, New York, NY, 10001. Or download the 2011 Macy's Parade Performance Group Application and Marching Band Application forms online (pdf files)


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