Launched in 1924 as a project by employees at the department store Macy’s, the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City has since evolved into one of the most well-known traditions of the November holiday. Though many households across the country maintain the tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, this year you can watch the floats come to life from premium seats along the streets of New York.
Again this year, Vivid Seats is the best source for premier Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tickets in the grandstand and at Herald Square. Grandstand parade seating lines the earlier points on the route, while Herald Square seating is located where the parade ends.
Macy's thanksgiving day parade 2015
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Route
Since 1946, the Thanksgiving Day Parade has begun its route at 77th Street. From that point, the parade follows Central Park West heading south. At Columbus Circle near the south end of the park, the parade will turn east onto 59th Street before continuing south down 6th Avenue. The final turn will take the parade west on 34th Street before ending at Macy’s Herald Square.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Times
The parade begins at 9 a.m. EST. Between 77th and 59th streets, the parade usually runs until about 10:30 a.m. Typically, the parade reaches 6th Avenue around 9:30 a.m. The parade will take longer to pass through the tail end of the route than the beginning, as it can take up to three hours for the parade to circulate through the end of the route.
Where to Watch the Parade
In our marketplace, you will typically find seating options in the grandstand and Herald Square. The grandstand seating is usually comprised of bleachers near the beginning of the parade route. These bleachers stretch for several blocks and offer general admission seating. Herald Square seating is also comprised of general admission bleachers and will be located at the end of the route.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Performers
In 2015, more than a dozen talented musicians have been booked to make the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade a spectacular live experience. Vocal powerhouse Mariah Carey will lead the roster of performers for the holiday parade days before she launches her second annual Christmas-themed residency at New York's Beacon Theatre. Joining her on the parade route will be Pat Benatar and husband Neil Giraldo, Train, Shawn Mendes, Jordin Sparks, Questlove, Jake Owen, Trey Songz, Jennifer Nettles, Daughtry, Prince Royce, MercyMe, Panic! At the Disco, and many more.
As is tradition, the casts of several Broadway musicals are also on the list of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade performers to promote their upcoming shows. Parade attendees will get a sample of the ongoing productions of "The King and I," "On Your Feet!," "Finding Neverland," and "Something Rotten," as well as the upcoming revival of "Fiddler on the Roof." Performers from Cirque du Soleil will also show off their acrobatic skills during the parade, while the world-famous Rockettes will continue tradition with their own parade performance.
History of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons
It wasn’t until the parade’s third year in 1927 that the iconic giant balloons were introduced, but now the larger-than-life creations are integral to the New York event. The first balloon featured Felix the Cat, starting the longstanding tradition of featuring popular family-friendly cartoon characters.
In 1934, the parade collaborated for the first time with Disney to premiere a Mickey Mouse balloon. In the last seven decades, the event has featured numerous Disney characters, including Donald Duck, Goofy, and Buzz Lightyear.
Each November, an array of new and classic balloons are featured throughout the event, as past attendees have been witness to the likes of Toothless from “How I Met Your Dragon,” “Adventure Time” characters Finn and Jake, a holiday-themed Spongebob Squarepants, and Snoopy from “Peanuts,” who holds the record for most balloons of any character. Due to their large size, a single balloon can take up to 80 volunteers to handle during the parade.
There will be several new Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons debuting in the 2015 installment. These include an Angry Bird, the Sinclair Oil dinosaur, Ice Age's Scrat the squirrel with his beloved acorn, and a new version of Ronald McDonald.