The pageant is known for its floats, costumed revelers, marching bands and huge balloons of popular cartoon characters like Snoopy, Paddington Bear and The Grinch – always a surreal sight floating between the skyscrapers.
After a scaled-down event in response to the Covid pandemic, this year’s parade is back in full force featuring 27 giant character blimps, 31 floats, 7 balloons, 12 marching bands and, of course, Dad! Noel bringing up the rear.
The world’s largest parade has been held every year since 1924, when it was first hosted by the famous department chain, whose flagship store is located on 34th Street.
Now in its 96th installment, the event no longer features wild animals on loan from the Central Park Zoo as it did in its inaugural year.
Macy’s version, which concluded with Old Saint Nick’s welcome to Herald Square, quickly eclipsed the previous Ragamuffin Day, in which children went door to door dressed as panhandlers to collect candy, a practice similar to trick-or-treating. Halloween. .
the advent of the Great Depressionwhich left many in a state of real destitution, saw Ragamuffin Day phased out for reasons of good taste.
Balloons were first introduced to the Macy’s lineup at the suggestion of Anthony Frederick Sarg, a puppet artist tasked with designing the store’s seasonal window display.
He did this using giant animal balloons custom-built by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, which proved so popular with buyers that they took them on tour with the marchers in 1927, replacing the zoo animals.
The first popular culture character to be introduced is believed to have been Felix the Cat in 1931, and the all-American Mickey Mouse didn’t take a bow until 1934.
After the US entry into the Second World Warthe parade was discontinued between 1942 and 1944 but was revived for the jubilant Thanksgiving Day of November 1945 and two years later had a leading role in the film. miracle on 34th street about a boy’s encounter with the real Santa Claus who works at the department store.
It’s been running smoothly ever since, save for the occasional popped balloon here and there, like when a gust of wind caught one on a light pole in Times Square in 2005, injuring two bystanders.
Global events have meant security concerns have been at the forefront in recent yearswith the NYPD out in force and police snipers stationed on the rooftops of Manhattan to keep an eye on proceedings that could become a target for terrorist acts.
New balloons joining the lineup for the 2022 edition include Baby Shark, Bluey and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, while Broadway will be represented by the casts of Tony Award-winning musicals, Moulin Rouge! The musical Y SIX.
The Rockettes will be there, while Mariah Carey will open the show. The singer will be joined by other celebrities including Gloria Estefan, Paula Abdul, Big Time Rush, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, Fitz and the Tantrums, Mario Lopez, Ziggy Marley, Sean Paul and Jordin Sparks.
The parade takes place between 9 am EST and noon on November 24, Thanksgiving morning, and its route runs, as usual, south from West 77th Street and Central Park West in the Upper West Side to Macy’s Herald Square in the Garment District.
The big show will officially air in its entirety on NBC, with Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker fronting a three-hour show, while CBS will also air its own coverage.
You can also watch the parade online. through a variety of streaming platforms carrying NBCincluding Peacock, Paramount+, and streaming services that offer live TV content like Hulu, YouTube TV, DirectTV Stream, and Fubo.