Here’s everything you need to know about the 2012 (86th Annual) Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which takes place on Thursday, November 22, 2011 from 9am to 12pm:
A MAGICAL MARCH
THE 86th ANNUAL MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE® MARKS THE START OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH THE NATION’S MOST BELOVED SPECTACLE, FEATURING GIANT HELIUM BALLOONS, FLOATS OF WONDER, PULSE POUNDING MARCHING BANDS, ENGAGING PERFORMANCE GROUPS, CELEBRITY PERFORMERS AND THE ONE-AND-ONLY SANTA CLAUS
America’s Parade returns to launch the holidays with unrivaled pomp and pageantry and its signature brand of magic! On Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 at 9 a.m., over 8,000 participants will shout Let’s Have A Parade™, as the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® takes to the streets of New York City. With more than 3.5 million spectators watching the revelry live and more than 50 million viewers tuned in to the magic nationwide, the 86th edition of the world famous spectacle promises to be the nation’s largest Thanksgiving Day celebration.
Featuring signature elements, the Macy’s Parade has marked the start of the holiday season since its inception in 1924. This year the line-up of wonder unfolds with 16 giant character balloons; 40 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 28 floats; 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers; 900 clowns; 11 marching bands; a host of celebrity performers, and the one-and-only Santa Claus.
“The 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will again make history as it debuts three impressive giant balloons, six over-the-top floats, an amazing array of talent and the most remarkable high school and college marching bands in the nation,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She added, “This incredible cavalcade will make its way down 6th Avenue, a path that marks only the seventh time the Parade has changed its route. And, as it has during turbulent times in our history, we hope the Macy’s Parade serves as a beacon of hope for all who tune in and gather with friends and family to give thanks this season as they continue to heal from the devastating aftermath of super storm Sandy. During its 86th year, the Parade continues to create new memories and magical moments for more than 3 million live spectators and over 50 million who tune in across the country.”
Each Thanksgiving morning, Amy Kule leads the march down the streets of Manhattan as a representative of the more than 4,000 Macy’s employee volunteers who have given up their holiday to bring the nation a holiday spectacle like no other. This year, joining her will be a group of New York City Girl Scouts, who through exemplary service have merited this honor in celebration of the Girls Scouts of America’s 100th anniversary.
The Parade’s signature giant character balloons are one of the procession’s most famous elements, each year drawing millions of cheers from spectators young and old. Joining the line-up this year is a returning favorite with a brand new design and two never-before seen characters set to take flight this Thanksgiving. On deck for a Turkey Day lift this year is Santa’s favorite scout elf from the new beloved children’s Christmas tradition The Elf on the Shelf®, the loveable Hello Kitty© aboard her fabulous airplane, and the smurferrific Papa Smurf.
Also making its Parade debut as the latest member of the Parade’s Blue Sky Gallery series is Companion by KAWS. The series which debuted in 2005, invites world-renowned artists to create high-flying works of art for the procession. Said to be the artist’s alter-ego, Companion is a shy character who prefers to cover his eyes from the millions of spectators set to gaze at him as he flies down the route. In celebration of this unique partnership, Brian Donnelly, better known by the moniker KAWS, also created the promotional artwork for this year’s Parade, which features his unique style and sensibility. Previous works to have joined this elite group include balloon designs by Tom Otterness, Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami and Tim Burton.
Rounding out the ballooning line-up are returning favorites including Buzz Lightyear, Charlie Brown, Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Julius, Kermit the Frog, Kung Fu Panda™, Pikachu, Pillsbury Doughboy®, Ronald McDonald®, Sailor Mickey, Sonic the Hedgehog™, Spider-Man® and SpongeBob SquarePants.
A FLOATILLA OF FANTASY
Setting the stage for wondrous adventures are the Parade’s signature floats. Taking spectators through magical experiences, the floats set the scene for amazing performances. Joining the line-up this year are six new landscapes including the imaginative Daytime, Play Time, Night Time Too …; the wonderland of Goldfish® on Parade; the beats lifestyle magic of Music is Our Life; the hoops appreciation on board the 75 Years of March Madness; the home- baked goodies of Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations; and the ninja precision of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The returning float roster includes 1-2-3 Sesame Street; Big Apple; Bridge To The Future; Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure; Elves Raise The Roof; Gift of Freedom; Home Baked Goodness; International Cele-bear-ation Clock Tower; Jolly Polly Pirate Ship; Marion-Carole Showboat; Mouth Rushmore’s American Pride; On The Roll Again; Pep Rally; Santa’s Sleigh; The Smurfs; Snoopy’s Doghouse; Tom Turkey; True Spirit of Thanksgiving; Uncle Sam’s Top Hat; Winter Wonderland In Central Park; Woodland Family Gathering; and Zhu-niverse.
THE STEP AND THE BEAT
Providing the beat and the razzle dazzle are the nation and the world’s best marching bands and performance groups. Together they add the pomp and circumstance to the holiday revelry, delighting spectators along the route and providing television viewers with holiday showstoppers. Eleven marching bands will take up the call of the baton and march into history as the 86th Macy’s Parade’s musical heart. Joining the Thanksgiving Day revelry are Banda Musical Delfines (Veracruz, Mexico); Father Ryan High School (Nashville, TN); Kenton Ridge High School (Springfield, OH); Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States); Niceville High School (Niceville, FL); North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, NC); Oak Ridge High School (Conroe, TX); Saratoga High School (Saratoga, CA); United States Air Force Band & Honor Guard (Washington, D.C.); University of Louisiana Lafayette (Lafayette, LA); and the Wyoming All-State Marching Band (Wyoming). The purveyors of sometimes wacky but always fun entertainment include the nation’s best performance groups. Taking a unique place in the line-up this year are the Fred Hill Briefcase Drill Team (Plymouth, MI); Heartland Hoedowners (Elkhorn, NE); The King Charles Unicycle Troupe (Bronx, NY); Spangles Dance Company (New York, NY); Spirit of America Dance (United States); The Tap Dancing Christmas Trees (Oakland, CA); Stagedoor Manor (United States); Texas State University Strutters (San Marcos, TX); and the Varsity Spirit Cheer (United States).
A STARRY STARRY TURKEY DAY
Providing the star power on Thanksgiving are performers from music, film, sports, theatre and television. As they reach their marks on 34th Street, the nation will enjoy their spectacular performances. Joining the festivities this year are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Trace Adkins; Big Apple Circus; Chica and the gang from Sprout; Colbie Caillat; Rachel Crow; Thirza Defoe; Jimmy Fallon & The Roots; Flo Rida; Whoopi Goldberg; Chris Isaak; Carly Rae Jepsen; Karmin; Kidz Bop; Christian Laettner; Sandra Lee; Mannheim Steamroller; Jennette McCurdy; Don McLean; Megan & Liz; Miss USA 2012 – Olivia Culpo; Chris Mullin; the Muppets and cast of Sesame Street; Neon Trees; Power Rangers Megaforce; Cody Simpson; U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists – Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber; The Wanted; and Food Network’s Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian.
THE STAR ATTRACTION FROM COAST-TO-COAST
Nationwide, Thanksgiving Day celebrations are never complete without tuning in to the national broadcast of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. Regularly one of the nation’s most viewed events, millions of families tune-in every year to watch the revelry unfold. This year, :The TODAY Show’s” Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie will anchor the three-hour broadcast from 9 a.m. – Noon; in all time zones. Enhancing the Parade’s signature entertainment will be performances from Broadway’s best musicals including Annie, Bring It On, Rodger + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Elf, and Nice Work If You Can Get It. In addition, the world-famous Radio City Rockettes® will join the presentation to help kick-off the holidays.
The 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will step-off at 77th Street and Central Park West. The procession will travel down to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down a new path via 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas to 34th Street. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square. A Holiday Treat for Children Everywhere is the guiding motto of this national tradition, which continues to this day.
For more information on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, please visit www.macys.com/parade or call the Parade hotline at 212-494-4495.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL TALENT, PERFORMANCES, LINE-UP AND INFORMATION INCLUDED ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
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