NEW YORK (AP), The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade returns to its pre-pandemic glory this year. Its route through Manhattan will be restored, and high-flying helium balls will once again be pulled by handlers. Crowds are welcome back to cheer them on.
After being subject to pandemic restrictions, this year's parade (the 95th annual) will be back to its former self. It will include 15 giant character balloons and 28 floats as well as 36 novelty and heritage inflatables. There will also be more than 800 clowns and ten marching bands. Nine performance groups will participate, including Santa Claus.
Ada Twist and Scientist, as well as the Pokemon characters Pikachu (and Eevee) will be joining the new balloon giants on Nov. 25, respectively. The Broadway casts of "Six" and "Moulin Rouge!" will be there. The Musical" and Wicked will be represented by the Rockettes, along with the cast of the upcoming NBC Live production of "Annie."
Macy's created an unforgettable spectacle for our 95th celebration featuring a spectacular array of high-flying balloons and animated floats as well as incredible performers. "We can't wait for New York City to kick-off the holiday seasons with the return of that cherished tradition," Will Coss (executive producer of the parade) stated in a statement.
Other celebrity guests include Carrie Underwood and Jimmie Allen, Kelly Rowland and Rob Thomas. Kristin Chenoweth and Darren Criss are also present.
Astronaut Snoopy and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" are some of the returning balloons.
Macy's Parade is a tradition holiday kickoff. Spectators often line up half-dozen deep along route to cheer on 8,000 marchers, entertainers, marching bands, and floats.
The 2 1/2-mile route through Manhattan was abandoned last year in favor of concentrating events on a block of 34th Street, in front of the flagship Manhattan store. To cut down travel, many performances were taped and most parade performers were local. Instead of being controlled by handlers, the balloons were tied to specialized vehicles.
This year, visitors will be allowed to view the balloons that were inflated the day prior to the parade provided they have proof of vaccination. A vaccinated adult may accompany children under 12 years of age.