Macy's Giant Balloons inflation ahead of Thanksgiving Day Parade

How to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and what to expect

Let the balloons fly

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is back in person after going virtual last year amid the coronavirus pandemic’s long-lasting reign of terror. The event began in 1924 and grew to become the world’s largest parade. The 3-hour long parade is held in Manhattan and ends outside Macy’s Herald Square and 2020 was the first year since World War II that paraders didn’t march down the New York streets. While that all changes today- things are still going to be different, one major change being there will be no children under the age of 12 on top of the floats.

Macy's Giant Balloons inflation ahead of Thanksgiving Day Parade©GettyImages

The marching bands, giant balloons, and floats are back but as noted by NYTimes, the event is typically filled with floats made of children’s characters and heroes like Pikachu and SpongeBob Squarepants. Smiling and waving children are usually aboard those floats dressed up to celebrate. But with COVID still in the mix, Macy’s announced in September it was a vaccine mandated event before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formally endorsed Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11. “We had to make some decisions well in advance of our parade day to ensure that the health and safety of all participants were delivered upon,” Will Coss, the event’s executive producer said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to have that specific contingent of young children.”

This year‘s event is star-studded with performances by Carrie Underwood, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Batiste,Nelly, The Rockettes, and Mickey Guyton who will remain masked unless singing, per NYPost. Other artists include South Korean K-pop quartet Aespa, Country music singer Chris Lane,“Glee” star and Broadway actor Darren Criss,Foreigner, Kristin Chenoweth, Mickey Guyton. There will also be 10 marching bands filling the streets, a group of competitive jump ropers, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance and more.

The parade will air on NBC on Thursday, Nov. 25, from 9 a.m. to noon EST. You can also watch via Livestream on Peacock as well as on Fubo.

There are no vaccination requirements to attend the outdoor event as a spectator and those 12 and up can wake up early to try and secure a limited public-viewing spot. There are 2.5 miles of public viewing along the NYC route and you can check out the map provided by Macy‘s here. The parade starts at West 77th Street and Central Park West and there are views along the stretch of Central Park from West 75th to West 61st streets. Views can also be found from West 59th to West 38th. Children under 12 years old can view the balloon inflation on the Upper West Side with a fully vaccinated adult.

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