When is the Thanksgiving Day Parade?
This year’s parade broadcast is on Thursday, November 23rd and starts at 8:30 am ET, a half hour earlier than usual. The event will end at 12 pm noon.
How do I watch the parade (especially the Broadway shows in the parade)?
NBC is the primary broadcaster for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you don’t have a TV but you have a cable provider login information, you can watch on NBC.com. Alternatively, you can sign up for Peacock for $5.99/month. (Peacock does not offer free trials, but, note to our younger readers – they offer a student plan for $1.99/month.)
What Broadway shows will be in this year’s parade?
Eight Broadway shows will perform as part of the parade this year, five on NBC and three on CBS. The five shows performing live on NBC are & Juliet, Back to the Future, Shucked, How to Dance In Ohio, and Spamalot. Performances from Broadway shows take place at the parade end point at Macy’s Herald Square. Macy’s does not announce precisely when each show will perform, but they always occur during the first 90 minutes of the broadcast, while the parade itself meanders from the Upper West Side to Macy’s. So make sure to wake up early if you want to catch your favorite shows!
Purlie Victorious star Leslie Odom, Jr. and Gutenberg duo Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad will also stop by the parade route to chat with the NBC hosts, and Mean Girls star Ashley Park will be on the Sesame Street float. Expect to see Leslie, Andrew and Josh, between 8:45 am and 10 am, and Ashley between 11 am and 12 pm.
The CBS broadcast will include exclusive pre-taped performances from Chicago, Aladdin, and A Beautiful Noise. Chicago will feature ‘The Hot Honey Rag,’ performed by current Velma Kelly Kimberly Marable, and a unique appearance by CBS newscaster and former Rockette Keltie Knight. Expect these three performances to be spread out across the three-hour broadcast.
Due to copyright restrictions, the performances won’t be on YouTube after. If there’s a particular show you don’t want to miss, check the show’s social media pages the morning of Thanksgiving – sometimes they’ll offer hints as to when exactly the show goes on TV.
More Helpful Info
The parade features many exciting performers beyond Broadway, including 11 university and high school marching bands, Bhangra, Salsa, and tap dance troupes, the Big Apple Circus, and this year’s Miss America, a nuclear physicist and classical violinist from Wisconsin.
If you’re interested in viewing the parade in person, the 2.5-mile parade route starts at the Natural History Museum on 77th and Central Park West, curves East on 59th St, and travels down 6th Avenue from 59th to 34th.
On Wednesday, November 22nd from 12-6pm, New Yorkers can view the massive balloons as they get filled with helium outside the Natural History Museum on 77th and Central Park West. The entrance and security check are down on 72nd st and Columbus.