Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® marks the start of the holiday season with a beloved spectacle featuring giant helium balloons, floats of wonder, pulse-pounding marching bands, engaging performance groups, celebrity appearances and our special Santa Claus.

More than 8,000 participants, some donning clown costumes, handling balloon giants or striking up the band, set off down the streets of Manhattan at the sound of the time-honored catchphrase "Let's Have a Parade." With a live audience more than 3.5 million strong and a nationwide television gathering of more than 50 million viewers, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the nation's most beloved holiday pageant.

The 2018 Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2018 lineup featured 16 giant character balloons; 43 novelty balloons, heritage balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 26 floats and specialty units; 1,200 cheerleaders and dancers; more than 1,000 clowns; and 12 marching bands.

This year, the balloons were more spectacular than ever! The Parade’s novelty and giant balloons included the famed Saiyan warrior Goku from “Dragon Ball Super: Broly;” the elf stars of “The Christmas Chronicles” on Netflix – Fleck, Bjorn, Jojo and Hugg; Sunny the Snowpal; colorful Americana spheres; Peanuts’ loveable blockhead Charlie Brown; DINO; the Flying Fish; Greg Heffley from the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" book series by Jeff Kinney; Illumination Presents Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch and his loyal dog Max; Jett by Superwings; the Nutcracker; Olaf, the snowman from Disney’s "Frozen;" PAW Patrol; Pikachu; Pillsbury Doughboy; Red “Believe” Stars as well as other stars in Blue & White and Yellow; Red & Gold Macy’s Snowflakes; Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger; Ronald McDonald; SpongeBob SquarePants; The Elf on the Shelf; Toothless from "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World;" and Trolls. And Macy’s Blue Sky Gallery series returned to the sky this year with Little Cloud, the iconic creation of art collaborative FriendsWithYou™.

The Parade also included Balloonicles—self-powered balloon vehicles. New this year were: Go Bowling and Three Baby Dinos.

Four new floats debuted this year and many that have appeared in past Parades returned. The new floats: Santa’s Saint Bernards Save Christmas based on a new animated holiday special, Elf Pets: Santa’s Saint Bernards Save Christmas; Splashing Safari Adventure from Kalahari Resorts and Conventions showcasing a thrilling safari through the savannah and down a shimmering river with exotic animals; Fantasy Chocolate Factory by Kinder® and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Nickelodeon.  

The Star Power

The 2018 Parade featured some of the nation’s most exciting performers: Bad Bunny, Barenaked Ladies, Bazzi, Ally Brooke, Kane Brown, Brynn Cartelli, Jack & Jack, John Legend, Leona Lewis, Ella Mai, Tegan Marie, Martina McBride, Rita Ora, Carly Pearce, Pentatonix, Anika Noni Rose and the cast & Muppets of Sesame Street, Diana Ross with her children and extended family (including Rhonda Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross, Chudney Ross, Ross Naess and Evan Ross with wife Ashlee Simpson-Ross), Sugarland, Ashley Tisdale, Mackenzie Ziegler and Johnny Orlando.

The Marching Bands

Marching bands are a central piece of the Parade and deliver a hefty dose of hometown pride as well as a holiday beat to the Big Apple’s streets. Twelve performance ensembles marched in 2018 and performance groups comprising hundreds of spirited talents from all over the country joined these bands to entertain the Parade audience with dances, stunts and high-flying routines.


For more on the 2018 Parade, read This Year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Was Spectacular. Check back for details about the 2019 Parade closer to the event date and also check out the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade site.