91st Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2017) Guide

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a New York City tradition that is loved around the country. About 3.5 million people turn out for the Parade in New York City alone.


Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2017

This year’s Parade features 17 giant character balloons, 28 legacy balloons, balloncicles, ballonheads, and trycaloons (?). The balloons will be joined by 1,100 dancers and cheerleaders, more than 1,000 clowns, 12, marching bands, and six performance groups.

New Floats

  • Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s
  • Harvest in the Valley by Green Giant
  • Parade Day Mischief by Sour Patch Kids Candy
  • Shimmer and Shine by Nickelodeon
  • Universal Playground by Sprout

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2017 is a New York City tradition

The Thanksgiving Parade was started at Bamberger’s department store in Newark, New Jersey.

It moved to Macy’s in 1924. Macy’s employees walked in costume with floats, bands, and animals from the Central Park Zoo. The Parade ends with Santa Claus arriving at Macy’s in Herald Square.

It was such as success that Macy’s made the Parade an annual event.

In 1927, animal-shaped balloons replaced the live animals.

Latin culture in the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Honestly, there isn’t much Latin culture in the Parade. That seems odd given that Macy’s targets the Hispanic market and New York City is 27.5% Hispanic (U.S. 2010 Census). If you add Black (Yes, we are Black), we are over half of New York City’s population. Macy’s are you listening to your customers?

But there is a wee bit of Latin culture in the Parade. Puerto Rican – Dominican – American Reggaeton singer Nicky Jam will perform.

Anyway, Christmas is the world’s most popular Latin holiday so it’s all good.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The balloons and floats are created at The Macy’s Parade Studio in Moonachie, New Jersey (between Meadowlands and Teterboro Airport. They are unveiled at an event  on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

Blowing up the balloons is almost as popular at the Parade itself. Inflation is done around the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Wednesday afternoon and evening from 3 – 10 pm.

Streets are closed for the inflation from 77th to 81st streets between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Time

The Parade starts Thursday, November 23, 2017 at 9 am. It ends at 12 noon.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Route

The Parade route is 2.5 miles long.

The Parade assembles around the American Museum of Natural History in the Upper West Side.

It marches along:

  • Central Park West to 59th St
  • 59th St to Sixth Ave
  • Sixth Ave to 34th St
  • 34th St to Macy’s Herald Square

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Santa Claus arrives at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, courtesy of Tweber1

Santa Claus arrives at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, courtesy of Tweber1

The easiest way to watch the Parade is on TV. The Parade is broadcast live on NBC and on Univision in Spanish. It will be live streamed on the web at www.youtube.com/verizon

Parade Does and Don’ts

  • Do dress warm in layers.
  • Don’t drink too much coffee because there are not bathrooms on the street.
  • Do pick a spot on the Parade route by 6 am.
  • Do make a lunch reservation to avoid the rush of 3.5 million people trying to get out of the area all at once.

Parade Viewing Spots and Nots

Central Park West

Official viewing areas start at 75th Street, but only on the west side (away from Central Park).

The Parade marches through this section from 9 – 10:30 am.

Inside Central Park might seem an obvious place to view the Parade, but the park walls block much of the view.

Columbus Circle

Some people think Columbus Circle is the best viewing location. Others think it is not because the balloons hurry through the area to avoid high winds.

The Shops at Columbus Circle open at 9 am. You can watch the Parade indoors from the second or third levels, but can’t hear the Parade itself.

Sixth Avenue

The Parade starts heading down Sixth Avenue from 59th Street – Central Park South at about 9:30 am.

Sixth Avenue between 34th and 38th street is the official telecast area. There is no public viewing there.

Book a Hotel

If you rent a room at the Trump International Hotel and Tower, then you are a piece of Trump!

The Mandarin Oriental New York offers a birds-eye view of the Parade.

JW Marriott Essex House and the Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park have good views along 59th St – Central Park South.

The 1 Hotel Central Park, Quin Hotel, and New York Hilton Midtown have views along Sixth Avenue.


Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Information

For more information, visit www.macys.com/social/parade


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