Thanksgiving Day is officially here, and it’s time to gather the family around to enjoy a special dinner together. But before you start to tie into those Turkey Day apps, you’ll want to turn the TV on and watch the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year, the star-studded event will be hosted by Today anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker, who will be giving viewers a close-up experience of the beloved tradition.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
What’s the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Since 1924, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been quintessential in celebrating the fourth Thursday in November. Now widely recognized as the official kickoff to the holiday season, the first parade was actually meant to honor the expansion of Macy’s flagship store in New York City, according to Mental Floss. Called the “Macy’s Christmas Parade,” it featured floats pulled by horses, professional entertainers, and Macy’s employees. But the most memorable detail may just be the Central Park Zoo animals: Bears, elephants, and donkeys walked the original route from 145th Street and Covent Avenue to 34th Street (a.k.a. Herald Square).
As for the grand finale, Santa Claus made an appearance, followed by the unveiling of Macy’s Christmas window displays. The tradition continued to gain popularity, leading to the parade eventually being broadcasted over the radio for the first time in 1932 and televised in 1952.
What time does the Macy’s 2019 Thanksgiving Day Parade start?
This year, Turkey Day falls on Thursday, November 28. The spectacle begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 12 p.m. in all time zones on the holiday.
The annual event will showcase an exciting lineup of marching bands, bedazzled dancers, Broadway actors, and musical performances — not to mention, Macy’s signature floats. From Elf on the Shelf to Frozen’s Olaf to Snoopy’s Doghouse, the entire family will recognize one of their favorite characters.
What is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route?
Held in New York City, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at West 77th Street and Central Park West and ends at 34th Street and Broadway.
On Macy’s “Where to Watch” page, it notes that there are limited views at the starting point. Instead, parade organizers recommend for early risers to begin gathering at 6 a.m. on the west side of Central Park West.
Throughout the two-and-a-half-mile route, special musical guests will perform, including The Black Eyed Peas, Celine Dion, Ciara, Idina Menzel, and Lea Michele.
How can I live-stream the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Whether you’ve planned a Thanksgiving brunch, or you're still putting the finishing touches on the dinner feast, there's no reason to worry about missing the spectacle: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be live-streamed. Both NBC and CBS will be streaming the event on their respective TV channels, websites, and apps.
NBC’s live coverage will begin at 9 a.m. on your local TV channel, but you can also watch on the NBC website or through the NBC app — available on iOS and Android. An encore will be shown at 2 p.m., but check your local listings for details.
If CBS is your go-to, the network will begin its live coverage at 9 a.m. You’ll also have the option to watch from the CBS website, CBS All Access, or via the CBS app — also available on iOS and Android.
Aside from watching on your laptop, tablet, or phone, you can also live-stream the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from NBC and CBS’s apps on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Roku. If you aren’t already subscribed, you can sign up for a free trial on these platforms: Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and fuboTV.
Lastly, Macy’s has teamed up with Verizon for a special streaming 360-experience hosted by Terry Crews and Lilly Singh. If you're interested, make sure to bookmark this YouTube link that will go live at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thanksgiving morning.
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