A few things are givens during the holidays. You're going to eat — and probably drink — too much. You're going to get annoyed with relatives. And you're going to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while the sweet smell of turkey and stuffing fills your home. If there ever was anything that could be considered one of life's small pleasures, the Thanksgiving Day parade is it.
Of course, before you hunker down on the couch — or at your computer — to watch the parade this year, make sure you've got your info straight. Here's everything you need to know about the Macy's parade this year. Don't make Thanksgiving 2017 a bust.
Thanksgiving Day parade route
The famous floats will travel 2.5 miles through Manhattan, starting at Central Park West and 77th Street. The parade will head down to Columbus Circle, where it will turn east and continue on to its final destination — ending at Macy's on 34th Street. If you will be in town and want to watch the action live, the city recommends staying at these hotels.
What time is the Thanksgiving Day parade on?
This year, the Thanksgiving Day parade is on Thursday, November 23 from 9 a.m. to noon, in all time zones, and if you're busy cooking (or sleeping) you can catch it again from 2-5 p.m.. You're definitely not going to want to miss it this year, as the parade is celebrating it's 93rd anniversary (!). The Macy's parade started in 1924 in New York City, and has been nationally broadcast since 1948. And if that's not impressive enough for you, get this: Over 3.5 million people line up along the two and a half mile stretch in Manhattan each year to catch a glimpse of the floats, and over 50 million people tune in to the parade at home.
Where can I watch the 2017 Thanksgiving Day parade?
Since it started airing in 1948, the parade has been broadcast on NBC. So, whatever channel NBC is your area, that's where you need to tune in! Also, remember, the parade starts at 9 a.m. Eastern time and it's live. So, if you're in California, it'll be starting at 6 a.m. for you.
Where can I livestream the Thanksgiving Day parade?
These days, everyone is always on the go and rarely are people available to watch things on TV when they're airing. So, of course, there are streaming options. In terms of paid subscription services, Hulu, DirectTV Now, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV will be airing the parade, but availability of streams from major networks always vary by area, so before you bank on one of these options (or sign up), check with your service provider. Also, keep in mind, depending on where you plan on watching the parade, you may need a receiving device such as a Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, smartphone, computer, or Fire TV.
If you don't have a streaming service — and don't want to fork over the money — you can usually check out the parade on Facebook or Twitter, which typically broadcasts national events like this, or YouTube. In 2016, Verizon partnered with NBC to offer a free livestream of the Thanksgiving Day parade on their YouTube channel.
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Who's performing at the parade?
As usual, Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker will be hosting the Thanksgiving Day parade. And this year, they've got some stellar performers to introduce, including Sarah McLachlan and Tony Bennett. Other musical guests include America’s Got Talent 2016 winner Grace VanderWaal, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Chloe and Halle, Daya, De La Soul, Easton Corbin, Fitz and the Tantrums, Jacob Whitesides, Maddie & Tae, Aloe Blacc, Ben Rector, Regina Spektor, Johnnyswim, LunchMoney Lewis, Diamante’ Electrico, and Timeflies.
What balloons and floats will be at the parade?
Let's be honest here, the real reason most people tune into the parade is for the ginormous balloons and floats that are there each year. This year, we'll see some old favorites, as well as new ones. Some of the Thanksgiving parade floats include Hello Kitty, Olaf from Frozen, Pillsbury Doughboy, Pokémon Pikachu, Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, Ronald McDonald, Ice Age’s Scrat and His Acorn, Dino the Dinosaur, and some of the Trolls stars. Gibson Guitar, 1-2-3 Sesame Street, Mount Rushmore’s American Pride, Tom Turkey are among some of the featured floats. And of course, who could forget, Santa’s Sleigh at the end?
What else will be there?
In addition to the musical performers and floats, the parade will also feature athletes, such as U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Laurie Hernandez, Michelle Carter, and Claressa Shields; marching bands; as well as talented performance groups, including the nationwide Spirit of America cheer team and Spirit of America dance team. As always, this event isn't something to miss.