Now in its 91st year, the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a time-honored holiday event that is witnessed by over 3.5 million live spectators in Manhattan each year and watched by more than 50 million TV viewers in homes across the country. The two-and-a-half mile parade route stretches through Manhattan and boasts a captivating lineup of custom-built floats, gigantic character balloons, fabulous high school marching bands, cheerleaders, dance troupes, and musical performances from some of the biggest names in music.
Get all the exciting details about the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in our complete guide below.
NBC has been broadcasting Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1948. This year’s parade will air on Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. until noon across all three time zones. The treasured Thanksgiving parade officially kicks off the holiday season in New York City each year. NBC’s “Today Show” hosts Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker report live from the festive scene. CBS will also broadcast coverage at the same time on their special “The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS,” hosted by Entertainment Tonight co-hosts Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight.
A huge lineup of music artists are slated to perform in the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade including Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Andra Day, country artist Dustin Lynch, 2017 “America’s Got Talent” runner-up Angelica Hale, R & B legend Smokey Robinson, alternative rockers Goo Goo Dolls, Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway star Leslie Odom, Jr., R& B/pop/dance artist Bebe Rexha, and reggaetón pioneer artist Nicky Jam. “American Idol” season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina and singer-songwriter-actress Sabrina Carpenter are also on this year’s parade performance roster, as well as Common, Sara Evans, Andy Grammer and 98 Degrees.
Cheerleading teams and dance troupes from all over the country are also a part of the parade’s annual entertainment lineup. Spirit of America Dance Stars will perform, along with 125 Camp Broadway kids from military families of active-duty personnel or veterans. Plus, the first-ever hip-hop dance team, 34th & Phunk will perform, as well as a unique dance/drill team ranging in ages from 30-80 called Red Hot Mamas and the Spirit of America Cheer Team.
We can only imagine the adrenaline rush the high school bands who get selected to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade feel! Macy’s Great American Marching Band is comprised of 185 members representing the finest high school musicians across the United States. It will perform for its 12th consecutive parade and it will be supported by 40 flags and dancers. Other marching bands featured in this year’s lineup include Rockford High School Marching Band from Rockford, MI, Rosemont High School Marching Band from Rosemont, MN, Davis High School Marching Band from Kaysville, UT, Trumbull High School from Trumbull, CT, the Prairie View A & M Marching Storm from Prairie View, Texas. The NYPD Marching Band from NYC and the U.S. Air Force Marching Band from Washington, D.C. will help lead the bands.
A wide variety of themed clown groups will march in the parade this year. Some of the zany groups include Funny Firefighter Brigade, Keystone Cops & Robbers, Malt Shop Clowns, Hi-Roller Skating Clowns, Rag Doll Clowns, and more.
Balloons and Floats
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons and floats create a visual extravaganza that is enjoyed by millions of live spectators and TV home viewers each year. Returning favorite balloons include the Pillsbury Dough Boy, Angry Birds Red, Ice Age’s Scrat and his Acorn, Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, Hello Kitty, Ronald McDonald, Spongebob, Pikachu, Trolls, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Greg Heffley, and the Elf on the Shelf. This year’s Macy’s novelty balloons include Harold the Policeman, Harold the Fireman, Harold the Baseball Player, Rex the Happy Dragon, the Blue Ornament, Candy Cane, and Red & Gold Macy’s stars. New balloons for this year include Olaf, the lovable snowman from “Frozen,” The Grinch, and Paw Patrol’s Chase.
This year’s spectacular floats include Snoopy’s Doghouse from Peanuts Worldwide, Heartwarming Holiday Countdown from the Hallmark Channel, Oh Christmas Tree from Balsam Hill, Green Giant from Green Giant Vegetables, Fun House from Krazy Glue, The Cranberry Cooperative from Ocean Spray, Big Apple from NY Daily News, Winter Wonderland from Delta Airlines and of course, Santa’s Sleigh!