Kick off your holiday with a big, time-honored tradition (no, not rewatching all your favorite Thanksgiving-themed episodes): Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
This year marks the event’s 90th anniversary, so you can expect not just a look at memories of past parades, but also a few special surprises sprinkled throughout the day’s event.
Want to join in the celebration, but not sure when to tune in? Excited for the floats and performances, but don’t know who’ll be making an appearance? Want to watch the parade but don’t have a cable subscription? Don’t worry! We’ve got you all that information — as well as answers to a few burning questions — coming right up.
What time does the parade start?
The 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade begins at 9 a.m. ET and will go until noon on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24.
Where can I watch it?
NBC, the official broadcaster of the event, will be airing the parade in its entirety, with Today show hosts Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker anchoring the broadcast, and the network has partnered up with Verizon to provide a 360 livestream of the parade for those without cable TV subscriptions. All you’ll have to do is log into Verizon’s YouTube channel when the parade begins and you’ll be able to watch the parade live, with Marlon Wayans and Olivia Culpo hosting.
Who will be performing?
Tony Bennett, Chloe x Halle, Aloe Blacc, Fitz & the Tantrums, Sarah McLachlan, Grace VanderWaal, and Regina Spektor are just some of the people who’ll be performing a number or two on the big day.
Also singing (and dancing) their hearts out will be performers from some of Broadway’s best shows, including the recently revived Cats, the movie-turned-musical Waitress, and new Irving Berlin musical Holiday Inn. Viewers will also be able to catch a glimpse of NBC’s upcoming musical, Hairspray Live!
Who else can I hope to see?
For starters, you can take a break from figuring out how to get to Sesame Street, as the cast and Muppets themselves will be making an appearance courtesy of their own special float. And this year’s celebration is really going for the gold with appearances from Olympic gold medalists Michelle Carter, Laurie Hernandez, and Claressa Shields, as well as U.S. Paralympics gold medalists Mikey Brannigan and Gianfranco Iannotta.
What balloons should I look out for?
This year sees the introduction of three new balloons to the parade lineup: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Trolls (in a multi-character balloon), and Peanuts’ Charlie Brown. Joining them will be a few familiar faces including Angry Birds’ Red, Ice Age’s Scrat (complete with his ever-elusive Acorn), Pikachu, and the Red Power Ranger, among others.
To mark this special occasion, the parade will feature the return of DreamWorks Animation’s Felix the Cat, the first ever balloon to float it’s way through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade back in 1927.
What floats will be making an appearance?
Tom the Turkey and Santa’s Sleigh will be ringing in the holiday season, while Nickelodeon and the New York Daily News both pay homage to New York with their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and “Big Apple” floats. There will also be two different kinds of peanuts on the big day, with the Planter’s Nutmobile and Peanut‘s Snoopy’s Doghouse float making their way through the city.
This year’s parade welcomes a couple of new floats, most notably one from the Girl Scouts of America, and the other from Chengdu, a city in China known as the home of the great panda.
Will there be clowns?
Given that 2016 has done nothing but stoke the fires of clown-related phobias, it’s only fair to warn you that there will indeed be a number of clowns performing at the parade. But with so many performers, floats, and balloons making an appearance, it’s safe to say that your attentions will probably be drawn elsewhere.