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Friday
February 28th, 2020

macys thanksgiving day parade spotlight pageThese floats make their way through the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Catch this year’s parade Thanksgiving morning. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

Thanksgiving is coming up only next week, and one of my favorite traditions on Thanksgiving Day is watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV. It always sets the tone for the day for me and it’s always a good way to start Thanksgiving because there’s just so much to watch throughout the parade. 

So for this week, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the things I’m particularly excited about for this year’s parade. The parade always has something for everyone and I think this year should be just as awesome as the past 90-plus years. 

 

Performers

One of the parts of the parade that’s always extremely diverse is the performers set to be part of the parade festivities. This year’s parade, from what I’ve read online, will feature a very diverse and talented group of performers including Broadway veterans Idina Menzel, Lea Michele and Billy Porter, new “Blue’s Clues” host  Josh Dela Cruz, Natasha Bedingfield, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, and country artists Chris Young and Chris Janson. With so much diversity in these performers, there’s going to be a lot of great music for the parade audiences there in New York to hear. 

I’m also excited to see performances from the Broadway shows “Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations,” “Beetlejuice,” “Hadestown” and “Tina - The Tina Turner Musical.” I always look forward to the show performances because not only are the casts of the shows ridiculously talented, there’s a good chance I get introduced to some new musicals to listen to in the process. The shows are also a great lead-in to the Radio City Rockettes, which I have fond memories of attempting to mimic back in my much younger days. The final part of the performances I’m looking forward to (and this comes from my many years participating in band) are all the marching bands and other similar groups that will be making their way to 42nd Street. These bands are always super talented and it always brings back some great nostalgia of my days in high school/college band. 

Balloons

My other favorite thing about the parade is seeing all the different balloons that are put together for the year. They’re always extremely bright and big and colorful and there are always so many adorable and cool characters that are represented from SpongeBob SquarePants to Hello Kitty and more. It also always amazes me how the floats actually get from one point to the next because they’re just that big. Much like in the past, I’ll probably wonder again how much effort it takes to actually keep one of those balloons in control and also how much the people controlling them get paid for the few hours’ work the parade takes. This year’s balloons are expected to include Snoopy (on his 40th flight, the most of any Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade float), Greg from the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, The Grinch, Olaf the Snowman from Disney’s “Frozen,” Chase from “Paw Patrol” and Pikachu. The floats should provide some excitement for younger audience members as they see their favorite cartoon characters represented. Also, who doesn’t love giant balloons roughly the size of skyscrapers?

 

Floats

I also really enjoy seeing the amount of creativity behind the floats that amble through the streets for the Macy’s parade. This year promises a full slate of different floats, including depictions of Mount Rushmore, the ice skating rink in Central Park and the big red clown shoe featuring McDonald’s spokesperson Ronald McDonald. I also always enjoy seeing the Sesame Street float and I can’t wait to see what the design is like up close for Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop and the Fantasy Chocolate Factory – seeing floats like that always activate my sweet tooth, so seeing such sweet-looking floats will be great to indulge in before this year’s Thanksgiving meal. 

 

Santa Claus

When I was little, my favorite thing about the parade was the end because that’s when Santa, the big guy himself, would make his way to the end of the parade with Mrs. Claus and the reindeer and THAT to me was always the official kickoff to the Christmas season seeing Santa make his appearance in the parade in front of one of the biggest stores in the world. It’s always great seeing the excitement on the faces of everyone in the parade audience there in New York when Santa makes his way to the end of the parade (particularly the faces of the younger members of the audience) and I expect it will be the same way for this time around. 

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