Kicking off the holiday season with one of the most anticipated events of the year is NBC’s official telecast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
This year marks the 97th installment of the iconic Parade, which made its debut in 1924 amid the “Roaring 20’s,” first as a Christmas parade. According to historical accounts, the parade was broadcast for the first time via radio in 1932, before it was first televised in 1946 in New York which led to the first national parade telecast in 1947, on NBC.
Since then, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and accompanying NBC telecast has had a storied history of proudly highlighting members of the LGBTQ community as part of the all-American family.
From out celebrities and change-makers like Ben Platt, Betty Who, Billy Porter, Harvey Fierstein, Jeremy Pope, J. Harrison Ghee, Wayne Brady and more, to LGBTQ-inclusive Broadway productions like The Prom, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Jagged Little Pill, Mean Girls, Kinky Boots, and Avenue Q, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has remained a television spectacle of the year, bringing representation and visibility to millions of Americans.
“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.
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This year, Broadway fans are excited to catch live performances from hit shows like “& Juliet,” “Back to the Future: The Musical,” “How to Dance in Ohio,” “Shucked,” “Spamalot,” as well as the always-impressive Radio City Rockettes.
Gutenberg! The Musical!’s Josh Gad alongside iconic gay co-star Andrew Rannells are set to offer commentary throughout the parade’s route which is certain to be as hilarious as their new show.
The Grammy Award winning Pentatonix are once again going to blow fans away with their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade performance. The a cappella pop group includes queer band members Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying.
Taking flight on Thanksgiving will be the parade’s signature character balloons, including the GLAAD Media Award-winning cast of Sesame Street, who are set to make their annual appearance.
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, according to a press release by from NBC.
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.
Influencer and SiriusXM host Davis Burleson will also host a livestream on NBC’s TikTok starting at 8:30am EST on Thanksgiving Day.
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The entertainment lineup includes 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, NY; 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.
Telemundo’s simulcast of NBCUniversal’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” airs exclusively in Spanish and is hosted by the network’s daytime personalities, Carlos Adyan and Andrea Meza.
Watch the 97th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday, November 23rd starting at 8:30 a.m. ET/PT live on NBC and Peacock.