macys thanksgiving day parade
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The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, AKA one of the biggest holiday events of the year, is marching our way in a matter of weeks, and we’re already counting down the days. After skipping out on the traditional route due to the pandemic in 2020, Macy’s has confirmed in a press release that the big event is returning to the streets of New York—complete with giant character balloons, fabulous floats and hundreds of spectators.

“We are thrilled to welcome back in its full form the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a world-renowned celebration that ushers in the magic of being in New York City during the holiday season,” said New York mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement.

As expected, this year’s festive march will be a bit different compared to pre-pandemic parades. But how will these changes affect the celebration? Fans will be happy to know they can tune in to NBC on Thursday, November 25 from 9 a.m. to noon to catch every float and performance. But if you're looking for streaming options, keep reading for details on how to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2021, along with more info about the annual celebration.

1. First off, how did the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition begin?

According to the Macy's website, it all began in 1924, when a small group of Macy's employees—most of whom were first-generation immigrants—asked the company to throw a big parade in celebration of their "newfound freedoms and the coming of Christmas." A grand event ensued, complete with elephants, tigers, jazz bands and a giant toy soldier float.

The parade was so successful that Macy's turned it into a yearly tradition. And over the years, its popularity quickly grew, drawing media attention and millions of viewers. Today, nearly 100 years later, countless Americans rely on the iconic event to kick off the holiday season.

2. When is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2021?

The 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place on Thursday, November 25, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in all time zones.

3. Where is the parade taking place?

Last year, the parade didn’t follow its typical 2.5-mile route to Macy's Herald Square due to the pandemic. But since the annual event is making an *official* comeback, it will resume its original route, starting at 77th Street. Since Macy’s has yet to map everything out, be sure to check the official website for more details, including exact public viewing locations, entry guidelines and more.

4. WHAT CHANGES WILL BE MADE FOR THE MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE?

For one, there won't be a huge crowd of over 8,000 participants. In line with CDC guidelines, Macy’s will reduce the number of attendees to around 800 to 1,600 people, and it will implement social distancing practices at all parade operations. Plus, staff and volunteers must show proof of vaccination and wear face masks, though there will be a few exceptions “at the sole discretion of Macy's and its medical consultant.”

5. How can I watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year?

If you want to watch IRL, you can try to grab a spot along the parade route. However, you have to get there early, because it will likely be first come, first served due to limited crowds. If you prefer to watch the festivities from the comfort of your own couch, you can tune in live to NBC or CBS. If you have have cable, here are your best options:

  • NBC website: As long as you have your cable login, you'll get to see the festivities live through the network's official official website.
  • NBC App: If you'll be tuning in from devices like your phone, iPad or Kindle, then make sure to download the free NBC App, which offers full coverage of the parade.
  • CBS website: Similar to NBC, you'll need your cable provider info to tune in through the official site.

6. How to Stream the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

No cable? No problem. Keeping reading for the best streaming options:

  • Peacock: At $5 a month, you can get the Peacock Sports Premium package, where you can tune into live events like WWE, The National Dog Show and the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • Hulu: Users can stay in the loop as the parade airs live on NBC, that to Hulu's Live TV package. It offers over 75 live and on-demand TV channels, including ABC, FOX and CNN, for $65 a month. And as an added bonus, you get to start with a free 7-day trial.
  • Sling TV: The Sling Blue service offers 50 hours of DVR storage and 50+ live channels including NBC, TNT and AMC, for $35 a month.
  • Fubo TV: It's well-known for offering a plethora of sports-related content, but users also get the added perk of live events on channels like CBS, ABC and NBC. First timers can enjoy a 7-day free trial, then it's $65 a month for the Starter package.
  • YouTube TV: Get the Premium Live TV service and you'll have access to more than 85 channels that span from entertainment and news to live sports. Pricing is $65 a month, but you can try the first week free.

7. WHO is performing?

This year’s lineup is nothing short of impressive. Macy's recently confirmed that Carrie Underwood, Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Andy Grammer, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Foreigner, Jordan Fisher and the cast of Peacock’s Girls5eva are all slated to perform in this year's parade. Plus, Broadway fans are in for a treat with performances by the casts of Moulin Rouge! and Wicked.

Let the countdown begin...

RELATED: 41 NON-TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING DINNER IDEAS (BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE LOVES TURKEY)

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