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5 Reasons to See the 2019 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Person

Category General

|by Mark Robinson |

Catch performances from Broadway’s hottest shows

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual tradition that comes close to stealing the spotlight from Tom Turkey. This year, it will return for its 93rd installment, wending its way through New York City with its usual magic, music, special appearances from the casts of Broadway’s hottest shows, and more. At least once in a lifetime, a person should try to see this parade live and in person. Here’s why.

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SpongeBob SquarePants is set to make another appearance at the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Photo: Xinhua/Li Rui via Getty Images)

SpongeBob SquarePants is set to make another appearance at the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Photo: Xinhua/Li Rui via Getty Images)

It’s Even More Impressive When Seen Live
Most of us around the country grew up watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on our televisions, a magical morning peppered with smells of turkey’s and pumpkin pies in the oven. Those three hours were filled with colorful sights and upbeat music, creating a marathon challenge to make sure you didn’t miss a single moment. Picture all those iconic floats and balloons in person, sailing by as you stand amid the throngs of the parade route. Imagine feeling the music of those talented marching bands as it envelops you, the trumpets vibrating the crisp air. Being on location takes the experience of the beloved televised parade to whole new level of thrilling excitement.

The Parade of Celebrity Talent
Each and every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is just bursting with internationally renowned talent from the worlds of television, film, popular music and Broadway. You never know who might show up on a float singing, waving, dancing and/or mixing with the crowd. This year should prove to be no different with Celine Dion debuting a song from her new album, Jimmy Fallon, The Black-Eyed Peas, Billy Porter and Idina Menzel among the glitterati. Then there are the parade’s hosts, which, for decades, have been hosts of the popular morning program The Today Show. This year, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker (Broadway’s Waitress) will be back to guide us through the magic. Even the impressive, hovering, balloons have their own celebrity, hailing from some of our favorite cartoons and films. This year promises to be just as exciting with the addition of such high-flying, helium-filled balloons as Astronaut Snoopy (By Peanuts Worldwide), Green Eggs and Ham (by Netflix), and SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary (by Nickelodeon). As a celebration of the 75th Anniversary of his first appearance in the parade, Smokey the Bear will also make a special appearance in the balloon-filled sky. 

The Broadway Shows that Perform
Every year at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the casts of some of Broadway’s hottest shows appear in Herald Square to offer a song or two from their respective shows. This year, the Great White Way will be well-represented with the cast of the Tony-winning Best Musical of 2019 Hadestown, the cast of the recently-opened Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, the ghosts and ghouls of Beetlejuice, and the cast of the Tony-winner for Best Choreography Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations all on-hand. Of course, the traditional appearance of the Rockettes from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular will also make their annual, high-stepping kick-line through Herald Square.

The Magic
Where else in the world can you even hope to see a parade of this caliber? This goes above and beyond your local holiday parades, with larger than life experiences that will play like magic before a child’s (or a child at heart’s) eyes. Everything from the startlingly athletic dance troupes and the precision formations of the marching bands, all seem to be guided by the hand of magic. Even a palpable energy emanates from the crowd, so much joy and happiness converging in one place for this shared, electrified experience.

It Ushers in the Holiday Season with Style
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been around since 1924. There is a reason it is celebrating its 93rd Anniversary of bringing an extra-special burst of magic to our holiday season. Its intent was always to celebrate Thanksgiving while ushering in the holiday shopping season in with style, and that hasn’t changed over the course of the parade’s history. From the minute that the ribbon is cut to commence the march, to the final moments when Santa Claus makes his annual appearance, everything is done in the grandest style, reminding us why we’ve embraced it as a holiday tradition.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, released on October 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at

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