The 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Returns To Kick-off The Holiday On Thursday, Nov. 22nd (Photo: Business Wire)

The stars have aligned as the nation’s most beloved holiday event, the 86 th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ® kicks-off the holiday season. On Thursday, Nov. 22 at 9 a.m., the Macy’s Parade will take to the streets of Manhattan and into millions of homes nationwide, debuting a new route along 6 th Avenue, with amazing starpower and an incredible line-up of new balloons and floats.
The 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade returns to kick-off the holiday on Thursday, Nov. 22n ...

The 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade returns to kick-off the holiday on Thursday, Nov. 22nd (Photo: Business Wire)

Featuring signature elements, the Macy’s Parade has marked the start of the holiday season since its inception in 1924. Set to create new memories and magical moments for more than 3 million live spectators and over 50 million viewers across the country, this year the line-up of wonder unfolds with 16 giant character balloons; 40 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 28 floats; 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers; 900 clowns; 11 marching bands; a host of celebrity performers and the one-and-only Santa Claus.

“The 86 th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will again make history as it debuts three impressive giant balloons, six over-the-top floats, an amazing array of talent and the most remarkable high school, college and professional marching bands in the nation,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She added, “As it has during turbulent times in our history, we hope the Macy’s Parade serves as a beacon of hope and renewal for all Americans who will gather with friends and family to give thanks this season and begin to heal from the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.”

The 86 th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will step-off at 77 th Street and Central Park West. The procession will travel down to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down a new path via 6 th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas to 34 th Street. At 34 th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7 th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square. This incredible cavalcade will make its way down 6 th Avenue, a broader, more accessible path that marks only the seventh time the Parade has changed its route.

( EDITOR’S NOTE: Macy’s (NYSE:M) has begun prepping the new route for Thanksgiving Day. Please visit for b-roll of 6 th Avenue being readied for the Macy’s Parade, along with soundbites and an interactive route map.)

Providing the star power on Thanksgiving are performers from music, film, sports, theatre and television. As they reach their marks on 34 th Street, the nation will revel in their spectacular appearances. Joining the festivities this year are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Trace Adkins; Big Apple Circus; Chica and the gang from Sprout ®; Colbie Caillat; Rachel Crow; Thirza Defoe; Jimmy Fallon & The Roots; Flo Rida; Whoopi Goldberg; Chris Isaak; Carly Rae Jepsen; Karmin; Kidz Bop; Christian Laettner; Sandra Lee; Mannheim Steamroller; Jennette McCurdy; Don McLean; Megan & Liz; Miss USA 2012 – Olivia Culpo; the Muppets and cast of Sesame Street; Neon Trees; Power Rangers Megaforce; Cody Simpson; U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists - Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber; The Wanted; and Food Network’s Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. Adding to the Parade’s signature entertainment will be performances from Broadway’s best musicals including Annie, Bring It On, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Elf, and Nice Work If You Can Get It. In addition, the world-famous Radio City Rockettes ® will join the presentation to help kick-off the holidays.

Debuting in the ballooning lineup on Thanksgiving this year is Santa’s favorite scout elf from the new beloved children’s Christmas tradition The Elf on the Shelf ®, the loveable Hello Kitty © aboard her fabulous airplane, and the smurferrific Papa Smurf.

Fun facts and figures on the new giant balloons:


The Elf on the Shelf will take his first flight in the Macy’s Parade this Thanksgiving. Sent by Santa Claus to watch over good little boys and girls around the world, the Elf on the Shelf will take his reporting duties to new heights, measuring 46-feet tall, 28-feet wide and 64-feet long in the Parade line-up.

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