For the first time, this edition of the beloved tradition will be extended by 30 minutes and offer more entertainment and spectacle than ever before
Kicking off the holiday season with one of the most anticipated events of the year, NBC’s official telecast of the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” will air from 8:30 a.m. until noon ET/PT on Thursday, Nov. 23, adding an extra half-hour of festivities for the first time ever. The parade, which begins on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and ends at Macy’s Herald Square flagship, will also be simulcast on Peacock. In addition, NBC will air an encore at 2 p.m. ET/PT.
Last year’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” was the most-watched entertainment program of the 2022-23 season, as it brings the nation together like no other broadcast. New for 2023 will be several additional cameras along the route, giving viewers new parade vantage points never seen before.
The 97th edition of the parade will include an exciting lineup of featured giant character balloons, fantastic floats, the finest marching bands from across the country, dynamic performance groups, imaginative clowns, the nation’s biggest musical talent and the one-and-only Santa Claus.
For nearly a century, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been one of the nation’s most anticipated and watched holiday celebrations. “Today’s” Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker will join as hosts of the Emmy Award-winning celebration.
This year’s parade will include 5,000 volunteers, 16 featured character balloons, 26 fantastic floats, 32 heritage and novelty balloons, more than 700 clowns, 12 marching bands and nine performance groups.
“There’s nothing quite like the pageantry of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to both bring families together and welcome in the holiday season,” said Jen Neal, executive vice president, live events and specials, NBCUniversal Media Group. “We’re truly proud and honored to be the home of such an iconic event that so many people look forward to watching with their friends and loved ones.”
“For nearly 100 years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been synonymous with the beginning of the holiday season, celebration and togetherness,” said Will Coss, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Our talented team of Macy’s Studios artisans and production specialists work year-round to deliver the nation’s most beloved holiday event, live on Thanksgiving morning. We are proud to hold this responsibility and look forward to sharing our unbelievable designs, larger-than-life character balloons and first-class entertainment, all sure to create lifelong memories for parade fans nationwide.”
Stars on 34th Street
The Macy’s Parade is an all-star celebration, hosting some of the nation’s most talented and iconic performers. For the 97th Macy’s Parade, the legendary star of music, film, stage and television, Cher, will perform a new holiday hit and kick off the season at 34th Street.
Throughout the streets of New York City and on-board Macy’s signature floating stages will be exhilarating performances from artists including Jon Batiste, Bell Biv DeVoe; Brandy; Chicago; En Vogue; ENHYPEN; David Foster and Katharine McPhee; Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors; Jessie James Decker; Ashley Park with the cast and “Muppets of Sesame Street”; Pentatonix; Paul Russell; Amanda Shaw and Alex Smith; and Manuel Turizo. U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Jordan Chiles (gymnastics), U.S. Paralympian Ezra Frech (Track and Field), U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalist Jessica Long (swimming) and Miss America 2023 Grace Stanke will also join the festivities. Additional stars to be announced.
Every year, Broadway is put on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade stage for fans around the country to experience. The national broadcast audience will enjoy performances from the best of Broadway, including “& Juliet,” “Back to the Future: The Musical,” “How to Dance in Ohio,” “Shucked,” “Spamalot,” as well as the iconic Radio City Rockettes. Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells – stars of Broadway’s “Gutenberg! The Musical!” – will act as special live correspondents along the parade route.
Taking flight on Thanksgiving will be the Parade’s signature character balloons. Since their introduction in 1927, these larger-than-life balloons showcase some of the world’s most beloved and iconic characters. This year, seven new featured balloons will debut, including “Beagle Scout Snoopy” by Peanuts Worldwide; “Blue Cat & Chugs” by Cool Cats, a digitally native character; “Kung Fu Panda’s Po” by Universal Pictures’ Dreamworks Animation; “Leo” by Netflix Inc.; “Monkey D. Luffy” by Toei Animation Inc.; “Pillsbury Doughboy” by Pillsbury; and “Uncle Dan” by Illumination.
Making a return appearance are featured character balloons, including “Bluey,” joined for the first time by her favorite “Keepy Uppy” red balloon, by BBC Studios; “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” by Abrams Books; “DINO and Baby DINO” by HF Sinclair; “Goku” by Toei Animation Inc.; a Funko Pop!-inspired Grogu by Funko ; “Chase from Paw Patrol” by Spin Master & Nickelodeon; “Pikachu & Eevee” by The Pokémon Company International; “Red Titan from ‘Ryan’s World’ ” by Sunlight Entertainment and pocket.watch; “Ronald McDonald” by McDonald’s USA; “SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary” by Nickelodeon; and “Stuart The Minion” by Illumination.
The inflatable lineup also includes HF Sinclair’s “Baby DINOs,” the “Go Bowling” balloonicles; “Smokey Bear” by the USDA Forest Service; “A Merry Moment” by Universal Orlando Resort featuring candy cane and poinsettia balloons, stilt walkers and dancing Christmas trees; and Macy’s very own special reindeer “Tiptoe.”
The skilled artisans of Macy’s Studios work year-round to create the whimsical designs that will float down the streets of New York City on parade morning. Conceived, designed, engineered and built at the Macy’s Parade Studio – a design and production facility that includes carpenters, engineers, electricians, painters, animators, balloon technicians, sculptors, metal fabricators, scenic and costume designers – these magical stages are created to transport parade fans across the country to fantastical places.
This year, four new floats will debut in the Macy’s Parade celebration. The floating stages, along with their scheduled performers, include “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” by Nickelodeon & Paramount (Bell Biv DeVoe); “Palace of Sweets” by Brach’s (Brandy); “Igniting Memories” by Solo Stove (Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors); and “The Deliciously Delectable World of Wonka” by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Returning floats and respective scheduled performers include “1-2-3 Sesame Street” by Sesame Workshop (the cast and “Muppets of Sesame Street” & Ashley Park); “Big City Cheer!” by Spirit Of America Productions (Miss America 2023 Grace Stanke); “Big Turkey Spectacular” by Jennie-O (Paul Russell); “Birds Of A Feather Stream Together” by Peacock (with an appearance by U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Jordan Chiles and U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalist Jessica Long); “The Brick-Changer” by The LEGO Group (Manuel Turizo); “Camp Snoopy” by Peanuts Worldwide; “Celebration Gator” by Louisiana Office of Tourism (Alex Smith and Amanda Shaw); “Colossal Wave Of Wonder “by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions (En Vogue); “Deck The Halls” by Balsam Hill (Jessie James Decker); “Elf Pets” by The Lumistella Company; “Fantasy Chocolate Factory” by Kinder (Pentatonix); “Geoffrey’s Dazzling Dance Party” by Toys“R”Us; “Harvest In The Valley” by Green Giant; “Heartwarming Holiday Countdown” by Hallmark Channel (David Foster and Katharine McPhee); “Magic Meets The Sea” by Disney Cruise Line (Capt. Minnie Mouse, Capt. Mickey Mouse and Friends); “Pinkfong Baby Shark” by The Pinkfong Company & Nickelodeon (ENHYPEN); “People Of First Light”; “Santa’s Sleigh” (Santa Claus); “Tom Turkey”; “Winter Wonderland in Central Park”; and “The Wondership” by Wonder (Chicago).
Specialty units for the 2023 Macy’s Parade include “Big Red Shoe Car” by McDonald's and the “Good Burgermobile” by Nickelodeon & Paramount+.
Completing the float lineup will be a special appearance by the “Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree,” featuring a holiday choir comprised of Macy’s colleagues with Bigs and Littles from Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). The creation of this special ensemble furthers Macy’s commitment to youth empowerment through its social purpose platform, “Mission Every One,” celebrating the power of mentorship and a multiyear partnership between Macy’s and BBBS.
Strike Up the Band
The Macy’s Parade holds a cherished and longstanding tradition of showcasing the nation’s finest marching bands. This November, gifted musicians joining the line of march include Alabama A&M University Marching Maroon and White (Huntsville); The Band Directors Marching Band (United States); Fishers High School Marching Tiger Band (Fishers, Indiana); Greendale High School Marching Band (Greendale, Wisconsin); Jenison High School Marching Band (Jenison, Michigan); Macy’s Great American Marching Band (U.S.); Mercer Island High School Marching Band (Mercer Island, Washington); NYPD Marching Band (New York City); O'Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers (O'Fallon, Illinois); Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights (Piscataway, New Jersey); Stoneman Douglas Eagle Regiment High School Marching Band (Parkland, Florida); and Texas Tech University Goin' Band from Raiderland (Lubbock).
Completing the entertainment lineup are dynamic performance groups, charged with entertaining the crowds along the streets of Manhattan and delivering a show-stopping performance on 34th Street. These groups include the Big Apple Circus; Cornell Bhangra from Ithaca; Tiptoe's Winter Guard, accompanying Tiptoe; the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters; Maria Verdeja School of Arts (MVSA) dancers from Miami; St. John’s Dance; and the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees from California.
Rounding out the performance lineup are the young dancers and cheerleaders of Spirit of America Dance and Spirit of America Cheer. These two groups together include more than 1,200 of the best dancers and cheerleader performers.
For more information on the broadcast, visit http://www.nbc.com/macys-thanksgiving-day-parade and follow @NBC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For an insider’s look at the holiday procession, visit macys.com/parade for regular updates including behind-the-scenes content, educational activities and more. Fans can also follow @macys on various social media networks and join the conversation using #MacysParade.