The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a beloved holiday tradition. Millions of people line the streets of New York City to watch enormous balloons and musical numbers. Here are 25 stunning photos of the festivities.
Now in its 91st year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is almost as iconic as the Thanksgiving turkey itself. Before digging into heaping plates full of festive foods, 50 million people across the country gather to watch the broadcast of the parade. Another 3.5 million attend in person in New York City.
Here are 25 stunning photos of the parade that show why it has become such a beloved tradition.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1924.
It has grown into an iconic holiday tradition.
Macy’s famously refuses to divulge how much the parade costs to produce.
“Macy’s views the parade as a gift to the City of New York and the nation,” a parade spokesperson told NBC. “Like any good gift, you cut off the price tag when you give it, so we keep to that tradition as well.”
Volunteer balloon handlers rehearse for the big day in empty parking lots.
Volunteers are all Macy’s employees (or friends and family of an employee).
Navigating the massive floats through Manhattan’s skyscrapers isn’t easy.
The night before the parade, spectators can watch the larger-than-life characters being inflated.
The next morning, the event kicks off at the corner of 77th and Central Park West on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
The march begins with a symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Then, the balloons take flight down Central Park West before turning onto 6th Avenue and ending at Macy’s in Herald Square.
The parade is broadcast across the country and watched by 50 million people.
And 3.5 million spectators fill the streets to watch in person.
People line up hours in advance to score a prime viewing spot.
Some even score an office window view along the route.
Last year, 3,000 police officers patrolled the parade.
Source: New York Daily News
They still managed to have a bit of fun.
Marching bands come from across the country to perform.
Their coordinating movements and bright outfits make a splash.
Other featured performers include the Radio City Rockettes, who have been dancing in the parade since 1957.
There’s always an impressive lineup of celebrity performers, too.
…and Santa Claus, whose appearance signals the start of the holiday season.
People of all ages can enjoy the floats, music, costumes, and revelry.
Who can resist the holiday cheer?
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