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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, USA
November 26 - November 27
A New York institution, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been delighting the crowds for decades.
The pre-Parade event, if you like, is the inflation of the helium balloons. This takes place at the American Museum of Natural History at West 79th Street and Columbus Avenue. There you will see various cartoon characters taking shape. Some will be from your childhood, but many will not. New balloons are added each year, or new takes on old stories and characters.
Due to Covid concerns, for 2020 the Parade route has been shortened. Details of what will go ahead can be found here. Also, the Parade has become a televised ony event with no spectators permitted. Further details on safety precautions can be found here.
Macy’s Thansgiving Day Parade Route
These balloons then combine with floats, street performers, clowns, groups of actors from current Broadway shows and make the 93rd Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
The starting location is on 77th Street and Central Park West. It moves through Central Park South and on to 6th Avenue. The Parade terminates at Macy’s Herald Square at 34th Street and 7th Avenue. It is a burst of colour, life and energy in often grim November weather.
If you’ve been a good boy or girl, Santa might make an appearance too.
Temperatures can drop to well below zero, it can snow on you or rain on you, so wrap up well.
How Long is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
In total there are 2.5 miles of public viewing along the route. A map of the route can be found here. (This will be shortened for 2020).
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day’s Parade 2019 Lineup
For details of who to expect at the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgivng Parade, click here.
How to Watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The parade are a huge televised event. If you can’t make it to the event then you could alway catch it on NBC – the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade channel -, or via Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2019 live stream. The first LGBTQ+ kiss in the parade’s history in 2018 created much media interest.
The History of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades
Only Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is older. New York and Detroit began parades in 1924. Previously, there was another parade on the day, known as Ragamuffin Day, that involved children inflicting tricks and pranks on their neighbourhood, which many New Yorkers were glad to see the back of.
Other Things to Do in New York
Or, perhaps, how to condense a book into a few lines. It’s best to start with what you like to do and then eliminate the uninspiring options.
Here are some tasters:
Take in a Broadway or Off-Broadway show; visit an iconic landmark, such as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building; take in the view from a skyscraper; visit the museums and galleries; or take a tour, such as an insider’s guide to New York – Live Like a Local in New York.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Time
Wondering what time is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? On Wednesday 25 November, the balloon inflation begins at midday, though the balloons do not really take shape until around 4:30pm. It closes at 8pm. Unfortunaely this has been cancelled for 2020.
On Thursday 26 November, the parade itself starts at 9am, finishing around midday. Traditionally people will come to take viewing spots on the route from around 6am, however for 2020 spectators will not be permitted.
Both events are free.
Flights to New York
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There are a huge number of flights to New York City, which is served by three airports: The John F Kennedy International Airport, often only known as JFK; Newark International Airport, in New Jersey, which also has some domestic flights; and La Guardia Airport, in Queens, which is for domestic flights.
Hotels in New York
To find the best accommodation in New York, and worldwide flights, please search via our comparison engine, which scans all the major booking sites.
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