Celebrating the Holidays: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Brings Festive Spirit to New York

by Chloe Baker
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Thanksgiving Parade

Iconic figures like Snoopy and SpongeBob SquarePants took to the New York City skies on Thursday, floating majestically during the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Below, marching bands enlivened the streets, heralding the start of the holiday season.

Commencing on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the parade proceeded along the edge of Central Park, captivating large crowds and television viewers nationwide, before concluding at Macy’s storied location on 34th Street.

Highlighting the event, Cher, who recently unveiled her inaugural Christmas album, delivered a performance. The distinguished artist, celebrated with Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy accolades, featured prominently, performing just ahead of Santa Claus’s eagerly anticipated appearance, signifying the parade’s finale.

Joining the celebration were various celebrities and musical talents, including Jon Batiste, Bell Biv DeVoe, Brandy, Jessie James Decker, and Pentatonix, along with Miss America 2023 Grace Stanke. Additionally, audiences enjoyed presentations from several Broadway show casts.


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This year’s parade introduced new balloons, including a gigantic Leo the lizard from a Netflix animation, towering over 40 feet (12.5 meters), and returning favorites like SpongeBob, measuring 44 feet (13.4 meters).

A staple character like Snoopy, consistently present in past parades, debuted this year in a new Beagle Scout Snoopy variant, marking 50 years since his first Peanuts comic appearance.

The parade’s charm extended beyond its aerial display. On the ground, the procession boasted over two dozen floats, interspersed with marching bands from across the nation, and numerous clown troupes, as part of the 8,000-strong participant ensemble, as per the organizers.

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Enthusiastic spectators, including children perched on their parents’ shoulders, lined the streets, cheering as the likes of Snoopy, SpongeBob, and Leo the Lizard passed by.

Terri Brown, accompanied by her family from Westfield, New Jersey, reminisced about her childhood parade experiences while watching her children, ages 3, 5, and 8, enjoy the spectacle.

Ross Greenstein, who traveled a 10-hour journey from Michigan with his family, fulfilled a lifelong dream of witnessing the parade in person, a tradition he had previously only enjoyed on television.

Marking its 97th occurrence since 1924, the parade was broadcast by Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker from “Today” on NBC.

In a special moment, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden connected with NBC during the parade, with President Biden emphasizing gratitude and unity as key values of the nation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

What is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual event in New York City that marks the beginning of the holiday season. It features large balloons of iconic characters, marching bands, and performances from celebrities and Broadway shows.

Who performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year?

Cher, along with other celebrities like Jon Batiste, Bell Biv DeVoe, and Jessie James Decker, performed at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Cher had a prime spot, performing just before Santa Claus’s arrival.

Were there any new balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Yes, new balloons included Leo the Lizard from a Netflix film, standing over 40 feet tall. Returning favorites like SpongeBob and a new Beagle Scout Snoopy version, celebrating 50 years in the Peanuts comics, were also featured.

How many people participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Over 8,000 people participated in the parade, which included more than two dozen floats, marching bands from across the country, and several clown crews.

Did President Biden make an appearance at the parade?

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden called into NBC during the parade. President Biden shared a message of gratitude and unity, reminding viewers to appreciate living in a great nation.

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