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Macy's Pride + Joy float with riders at the NYC Pride March

John Piper on Macy’s Participation in the NYC Pride March


Macy’s has long taken part in New York City’s Pride March and in others like it across the country. This year, WorldPride and Stonewall 50—the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising—took place in New York City. And on July 30, Macy’s participated in the NYC Pride March with a large float built in the Macy’s Parade Studio, where the company’s most prominent events take shape each year.

Quote about Pride from John Piper, Sr. Dir. of Production at Macy's Parade Studio
John Piper, Macy's Parade Studio

The Parade Studio is a bustling hub of creativity populated by artists and construction experts across multiple disciplines, all of whom have a unique grasp of the meaning of celebration. John Piper, Senior Director of Production at Macy’s Parade Studio, spoke about Macy’s participation in the Pride parade and cast light on the significance of the float the Studio created for the event.

The back of the Macy's Pride + Joy float in the NYC Pride March

How does the fact that Macy’s is participating in the Pride parade with a Pride + Joy float made here in the Studio make you feel?

Macy’s in the Pride parade, to me, makes more sense than anything else in the world. We’re a company that, going on five generations ago, decided to do something very special. We put on a parade for our employees, for the country, for the city, for everyone to say ‘thanks’ at Thanksgiving. What are parades about? Parades are about celebration. And I think that we’ve proven that now for more than 90 years.

Macy's balloons and handlers at the NYC Pride March

The Pride parade—well, I love the fact that it’s called ‘Pride.’ It’s not any kind of a protest. It’s not anything political. It’s a celebration. And it’s a celebration in the way that we know best: Put on a parade! Get out there, sing the song, fly the balloon, bring on the color, welcome each other and welcome the smiling faces in a grand celebration.

Macy's employees march in the New York Pride March

There are times when a celebration can mean more than just a celebration and I think that this is certainly a year for it. I’m very proud that our company is stepping up and taking it a step further—because that is the only way we know to do it.

The Macy’s Pride float is something we’re very proud of. Macy’s looked at it in a whole other way: It’s not just New York City. It’s not just the United States. We put a globe on this float because it’s WorldPride. The whole world celebrating on this day for something very important—the acceptance and the inclusion of all humanity. It’s all about celebration. We’re celebrating the whole world.

Performer on the Macy's Pride + Joy float in the NYC Pride March

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

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