Macy’s 2022 Thanksgiving Day Parade: What to Expect

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About three million spectators are expected to line the parade route to watch in person, organizers say, as balloons, floats and marching bands make their way from the Upper West Side to Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square.

This year’s event will feature 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 12 marching bands, a host of musical stars and much more. Plus 700 clowns and Santa Claus for good measure.

Spectators attending the big event can watch the balloons pop on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 23, on the Upper West Side. The grounds are open to the public from noon to 6 p.m. The area can only be accessed from West 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue.

The parade is set to begin on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, at 8:45 a.m. ET with televised coverage from 9 a.m. to noon.

Parade route

There is 2.5 miles (4 km) of public viewing along the route in 2022.

The parade starts at West 77th Street and Central Park West, but there is very limited public viewing there. The procession will head south along Central Park West.

Great views are available along Central Park West from West 75th to West 61st. The parade turns onto Central Park South at Columbus Circle, where there is no public viewing. It turns back onto 6th Avenue, south.

There is another stretch with optimal views along 6th Avenue from West 59th to West 38th Street.

Restricted sections to avoid are on 6th Avenue between West 34th and West 38th Streets and on West 34th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. Access there is limited by the national television broadcast.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon takes a test flight on November 5, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Eugene Gologurski/Getty Images

Weather forecast

New York should have lows around 40˚ F on Thanksgiving Day, with highs around 50. Sunny skies and light winds should prevail, allowing the famous Macy’s Day Parade balloons to fly high.

Watching on TV

Most spectators will watch the parade on television. NBC is the official broadcaster for the parade and coverage is from 9 a.m. to noon in all time zones. It will also be broadcast on Peacock.

Lea Michele and the cast of “Funny Girl” on Broadway are set to do an opening number with more Broadway performances from shows including “Some Like It Hot” and “The Lion King.”

Balloons

There are four new giant balloons that will float along the parade route this year.

Bluey the puppy, who will be as tall as a four-story building, arrives from Australia, and Sinclair Oil’s giant green apatosaurus returns with a new baby dinosaur friend.

There is a new edition of Greg Heffley’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid. And Stuart the Minion will float along the route in impressive form – as tall as a three-story building and as wide as six taxi cabs.

Floats

Baby Shark and family will make their parade debut in 2022.

Baby Shark and family will make their parade debut in 2022.

Eugene Gologurski/Getty Images

Five new floats will make their parade debut this year, including Baby Shark and family. Mom Shark, Dad Shark, Grandma Shark, and Grandpa Shark will take the lead on a float, and the baby shark will swim behind them in the form of a balloon.

A float inspired by the adventure film “Slumberland” will also debut in the parade. Check the Macy’s site for more new and returning floats.

Performers and marching bands

Dozens of stars are set to perform at this year’s Thanksgiving event, including singer/songwriter Jordin Sparks, soul singer Joss Stone, jazz artist Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, reggae artist Ziggy Marley and many more.

A dozen marching bands will participate in the parade this year, coming from cities across the country from Fresno, California, to Columbia, South Carolina, with one marching band coming all the way from Jalapa, Mexico.

Other things you should know

The parade will result in street closures and heavy traffic. Mass transit is encouraged.

“Anyone who sees suspicious activity should notify a police officer or call 911,” the NYPD said in a media release. The department’s anti-terrorism hotline is 888-NYC-SAFE.

Macy’s parade organizers said they worked closely with city and state officials to create a plan to ensure “the health and safety of all participants.”

Beach chairs, umbrellas, large backpacks, large coolers and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

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