And that includes the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Though the parade did happen last year, it was very pared down and mostly virtual. The traditional parade route was vastly shortened to only a block, and people could only view it from home — no longer as spectators on the streets of NYC. It was also taped ahead of time and not aired LIVE as usual.
This year, though, it will return mostly to its former glory. For its 95th anniversary, Macy’s announced it will welcome back public viewing along its parade route (for which specific details will be announced in November) with its signature mix of giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, marching bands, performance groups, celebrities, clowns and of course, Santa Claus.
Macy’s worked with the state and city to make sure proper COVID-19 safety protocols were taken, so there are many new rules this year.
Here’s everything you need to know:
When and where does the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade take place?
The 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place on Thanksgiving Day, November 25 at 9 a.m. kicking off at West 77th Street & Central Park West and ending at Macy’s Herald Square.
How do I see it in person?
Macy’s has shared designated viewing areas on their website here. They are:
- The west side of Central Park West from West 75th to West 61st Streets — early risers line up starting at 6 a.m.
- The Parade heads south onto 6th Avenue from Central Park South
- Great views from West 59th to West 38th Streets on 6th Ave.
- Note: there is no public viewing at the end at Macy’s Herald Square.
Are vaccinations required?
There is no vaccination requirement for the general public to view this outdoor event. However, Macy’s site states that all volunteer participants and staff will be vaccinated. Vaccine verification will be conducted at all back of house entry points.
Are face coverings required?
Again, not required for public spectators, but encouraged. And, all participants and staff regardless of vaccination status will wear face coverings and additional protective equipment, as warranted by their role.
Any other safety measures?
Macy’s will implement a reduction in the overall number of participants of between 10 to 20 percent (approximately 800 to 1,600 participants). Social distancing practices will be in place at all interior/exterior Parade operations including costuming areas, seating and participant check-in.
What will be featured this year that we missed last year?
Some elements that weren’t possible last year are set to return, including: marching band, cheer and specialty group performances, the signature giant character balloons will once again be flown with 80-100 handlers, and Macy’s Balloon Inflation event is currently under consideration (where New Yorkers can watch all the balloons being inflated the day before the parade).
How can I watch it from home?
The 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air nationwide on NBC-TV, Thursday, November 25, 2021 from 9 a.m. to noon, in all time zones.
What about the balloon inflation?
You can actually watch all the balloons being prepared the night before Thanksgiving, Wednesday, Nov. 24! This will be at 72nd Street & Columbus Avenue, and vaccination for this event is required. Find out more here.
If I need any other info where can I find it?