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Why Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is extra special this year - plus six new floats

The parade kicks off at 9am on Thursday

macys thanksgiving day parade
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
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The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is back with a vengeance for 2021 and will see the return of spectacular floats, marching bands and so much more!

MORE: 10 tasty Thanksgiving recipes: gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan alternatives

This year is extra special for the annual event too as it returns to its pre-pandemic glory, meaning last year's scaled-back, made-for-TV celebration is firmly in the rear window. Thursday will see roughly 8,000 spectators march through the streets of Manhattan, and they will be joined by performance groups, giant character helium balloons, and plenty of celebrities.

macys thanksgiving day parade balloon© Photo: Getty Images

The parade will return to its pre-pandemic glory

When is Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Macy's 95th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 9am on 25 November.

READ: Kelly Ripa divides fans with controversial Thanksgiving dinner statement

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What is Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route?

The official parade route runs 2.5 miles, from 77th & Central Park West to 34th Street-Herald Square. The procession marches to Columbus Circle, turns onto Central Park South, and proceeds down 6th Avenue to West 34th Street. It then turns west and ends at 7th Avenue, in front of Macy's Herald Square.

macys thanksgiving day parade float© Photo: Getty Images

28 floats will wow spectators at the annual event

What floats will be at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

This year sees the return of many much-loved floats and some newcomers too. A total of 28 floats will be present, including Papa Smurf from The Smurfs, Sonic the Hedgehog, and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Six floats will also be making their debut at the parade, including the Funko Pop!-inspired Grogu balloon, the beloved Mandalorian character also known as Baby Yoda and the Child.

What celebrities are performing at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Carrie Underwood, DWTS' Jimmie Allen, Kelly Rowland, Rob Thomas, and Kristin Chenoweth are just some of the big names who will be putting on a show. There will also be performances from Broadway's best shows including SIX, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Wicked.

today thankgiving© Photo: Getty Images

Stars of Today will host a three-hour special

How to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

If you would rather avoid the crowds and watch from the comfort of your own home, both NBC and CBS will be broadcasting the parade.

The Today show's Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker will host the three-hour telecast for NBC, while Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight will anchor on the CBS Television Network, which can also be streamed live on Paramount+.

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