Give thanks! The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is returning to the streets of New York City for its 95th annual stroll through Manhattan in 2021.
Before the balloons, floats, performers and one-and-only Santa Claus (who always serves as the parade’s grand finale!) make their way to New York’s Herald Square
When is the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. As per tradition, the three-hour event happens on Thanksgiving morning, leaving you and your family plenty of time to set the table and put the finishing touches on all the trimmings before your Turkey Day feast.
What time does the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade start?
The parade starts out from the Upper West Side of Manhattan (fun fact: Its starting point is always right next to the American Museum of Natural History!) at 9 a.m. ET and will air live along the East Coast through noon ET. Other U.S. time zones will see their broadcasts likewise beginning at 9 a.m. local time and ending at noon local time.
How to watch the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Catch all of the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day floats, balloons and performers only on NBC. After the parade is broadcast at 9 a.m. local time on NBC, you can tune in again to catch a repeat airing of the whole shebang later in the day, usually around 2 p.m. local time.
Who is performing in the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
The 2021 lineup has yet to be revealed, so check back for updates as we get closer to the parade. In the meantime, we’re guessing that Jimmy Fallon and The Roots may be among the 2021 parade performers, considering they’ve participated in the event more than a half-dozen times over the past decade, including last year—and sometimes with the Muppets and the cast of Sesame Street!
For what it’s worth, the rest of 2020’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade performers included Lauren Alaina, Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus, Ally Brooke, Sofia Carson, CNCO, Karol G, Tori Kelly, Patti LaBelle, Ella Mai, Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier, Leslie Odom Jr., Keke Palmer, Dolly Parton, Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha, Jordin Sparks, Sebastián Yatra, and Brett Young.
Will there be new balloons at the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
So far, four new balloons have been announced for this year’s event. A 41-foot Funko Pop!-inspired balloon featuring The Mandalorian‘s Grogu (a.k.a Baby Yoda) will make its debut at the 2021 parade. “Grogu has become a global phenomenon, captivating fans of all ages with his charm, humor and loyalty, as seen in The Mandalorian on Disney+,” Paul Southern, Senior Vice President, Franchise & Licensing, Lucasfilm and National Geographic, Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing said in a previous statement. “This fall, fans will be able to see Grogu reimagined in a size befitting his impact in the Star Wars galaxy and pop culture, as well as enjoy a new sampling of Grogu-inspired products in celebration of this momentous occasion.”
Other new balloons debuting in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for 2021 include scientist Ada from the Netflix series Ada Twist, Scientist (based on the beloved kids’ book of the same name), Tiptoe the reindeer, who is the star of Macy’s holiday campaign, and Toni, Macy’s bandleader bear named after parade pioneer Tony Sarg (who created the parade’s first-ever helium balloons back in 1927!).
Astronaut Snoopy, Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Paw Patrol‘s Chase, Spongebob Squarepants & Gary, the Boss Baby, Papa Smurf and Sonic the Hedgehog will be among the returning balloons.
Will there be new floats at the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
South African artist Karabo Poppy is designing a new, adventure-themed float for the 2021 festivities. Sponsored by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, the float will feature surfing rhinos, a swimming octopus and a family of elephants riding a “colossal wave of wonder.”
What performance groups will be at the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Aside from celebrity performers on floats, the parade will also feature group performances from dancers and circus performers.
- Ballet Hispánico—The dance school and community-based performing arts troupe was founded in 1970 and celebrates Latino cultures through performances, engagements and training.
- The Big Apple Circus—The circus is in town! The Big Apple Circus, currently in its 42nd season at Lincoln Center, puts a “modern twist on a beloved classic.”
- Jumpers United for Macy’s Parade (JUMP)—The group, which is made up of jump rope athletes from 29 states, will be appearing in the parade for the fifth time this year, performing a double-dutch routine set to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
- Spirit of America Dance Stars—The group made up of approximately 600 male and female dancers has been a part of the parade since 1986. This year, they will be performing to the Christmas classic “Man With The Bag.”
- Spirit of America Cheer—Comprised of male, female and all-star cheerleaders from across the nation, the cheerleading group has been featured in the holiday celebration since 1989 and will be returning this year, performing to RuPaul‘s “Brand New” remix.
Which marching bands will be participating in the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Keeping with one of the event’s most cherished traditions, marching bands from around the country will be taking to the streets of NYC to perform in this year’s parade, including:
- The Anne Richards Marching Stars from Austin, TX—The group, which is the only all-female competitive marching band in the country, is set to perform “Girls Just Want of Have Fun.”
- The Centerville High School Jazz Band from Centerville, OH—The band last performed in the parade in 1982 and will be returning this year with a performance of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
- The Sound of Brownsburg Marching Band from Brownsburg, IN—The Indiana high school band, made up of 205 members, will be serenading parade viewers with “Mirko” from the Cirque du Soleil show Alegria.
- The Lincoln-Way High School Marching Band from Frankfort, IL—The students will be performing “Metamorphosis” set to the music Aurora Awakes by John Mackey.
- The Hampton University Marching Force from Hampton, VA—The university band, which participated in President Obama’s Inauguration Parade in 2009, will be playing a medley of Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration” and Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.”
- The Union High School Renegade Regiment from Tulsa, OK—The Oklahoma high school made their debut in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013 and will be back this year with a performance of Oklahoma.
- The University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band from Tuscaloosa, AL—The Crimson Tide tradition, made up of 400 members, will be spreading holiday cheer performing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on Thanksgiving.
- The Trabuco Hills High School Thundering Mustangs Marching Unit from Mission Viejo, CA—The California high school band will be making their first appearance at the 95th parade with a performance of “Pure Imagination.”
- The NYPD Marching Band—Some of New York’s finest active police officers will be marching Thanksgiving morning under the direction of Amy Pape
- The Macy’s Great American Marching Band—The band is composed of the nation’s greatest high school musicians and will include alumni this year in honor of 15 years in the parade.