Macy’s parade marches in the holidays

Brittany Epps

When most of us think of Thanksgiving, we think of eating delicious foods, spending time with family and being thankful for everything we have. But one of the most popular Thanksgiving Day events is the Macy’s Day Parade, which will be held on Nov. 26 this year. The Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a combination of the past and the present, taking a tradition that began long ago and integrating it with today’s culture. This year the parade is celebrating its 83rd anniversary, and is growing more successful each year. What started as a parade for Macy’s employees in 1924 has now become a nationwide celebration for all to share. Every year 3 million spectators pack the streets of New York City to view the decorative floats, balloons, musical performances and celebrity appearances. This year, the parade will experience a few changes. It will now take on a new route, beginning the march down 77th Street and Central Park West and ending on 7th Avenue and 34th Street. Marching on 7th Avenue is a new addition to the parade’s previous route, with Broadway being the final destination for 82 years. In addition to the route changes, the parade will also feature new balloons and floats. The new balloons include Hello Kitty and Abby Cadabby. The new floats will be the Care Bears Winter “Funderland,” the International “Celebearation” for M&M’s on Broadway and Gibson’s Guitars. However, not everything will be a surprise; floats and balloons that made appearances last year and in previous years’ parades will also be there. This year’s balloon line-up will include Dora the Explorer, Kermit the Frog, the Pillsbury Dough Boy, Ronald McDonald, Spiderman and SpongeBob SquarePants. The floats that will ride through the streets include the Big Apple, the Jolly Polly Pirate Ship, Pep Rally, Santa’s Sleigh, Bridge to the Future, Snoopy’s Dog House, the True Spirit of Thanksgiving and Winter Wonderland in Central Park. But the fun won’t stop with decorative appearances. Live entertainment including Macy’s Great American Marching Band, and performance groups such as the U.S. Twirling All-Stars, Alvin Ailey’s Children’s Co. and the Heartbeat Jump Rope Team will be there to liven up the production.Meredith Vieira will host the parade for the first time, along with her morning co-host of “Today,” veteran host of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Matt Lauer. Other celebrities who will be in attendance include Julie Andrews, Chris Brown, Cheyenne, Ciara, Miley Cyrus, Gloria Estefan, the cast of Disney’s High School Musical, Jonas Brothers, Barry Manilow, Sarah McLachlan, Ali Larter and more. The once small celebration is now a national spectacle. Earning nine Emmys over the past 30 years for outstanding achievement in its broadcasts, NBC’s Macy’s parade coverage marches into households across the country next week. Tune in at approximately 9 a.m. to experience something that’s as much a Thanksgiving tradition today as the feast itself.