AARP Eye Center
After a pandemic-abridged version last year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade we know and love is back for its 95th year. Fifteen character balloons, 28 floats, 36 inflatables, more than 800 clowns, 10 marching bands, 9 performance groups and Santa Claus will travel the full 2.5-mile route through Manhattan once again, from the Upper West Side to Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square. Spectators are invited back this year, too, with proof of vaccination. Here are five reasons you won’t want to miss this year’s festivities, which air from 9 a.m. to noon Thanksgiving morning across all time zones, on NBC and Telemundo and streaming on Peacock.
AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP The Magazine.
1. There will be fabulous Broadway performers
After more than a year without the Great White Way, it will be extra special to see performances from some of Broadway’s hottest shows as they make their triumphant return to the stage. This year, the casts of Tony-winner Moulin Rouge! The Musical, and SIX — a modern twist on the six wives of King Henry VIII, which opened right before the pandemic struck — will perform, as well as the stars of long-running Broadway hit Wicked. Audiences will also get a sneak peek at NBC’s upcoming live adaptation of Annie.
Don’t Miss This: New Shows Coming to Broadway This Fall That Are Worth a Trip
2. You’ll see the longest float in the history of the parade
Six new floats will join the parade this year, including “Celebration Gator,” a 60-foot-long alligator that will be the longest float to ever appear in the parade. Created by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the float will celebrate the state’s unique landscape and culture, decorated with azaleas, magnolias, and New Orleans French Quarter architecture, and starring Oscar- and Emmy-winning New Orleanian jazz musician Jon Batiste.
Another new float comes from NBC streaming service Peacock. The “Birds of a Feather Stream Together” float will feature the main cast of Peacock’s musical comedy Girls 5eva — Sara Bareilles, Busy Philipps, Paula Pell, and Renée Elise Goldsberry. This float will also be the first ever to offer its own live feed, with cameras on the front and back giving viewers an on-the-ground look at what it’s like to be part of the festivities.
Don’t Turn That Channel: The National Dog Show is right after the parade! Are you up on all the details — from how to watch to the new breed that’s appearing for the first time this year? Get the whole scoop with our brand-new guide, here: Everything You Need to Know About the 20th annual National Dog Show