How to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day 2021 parade

Let’s do a parade! Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, one of the country’s most cherished holiday traditions, prepares to hit the streets of New York City.

“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been an institution in New York for over nine decades, becoming an icon of American pop culture as it marks the official start of the holiday season every year,” said Will Coss, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day. Parade. “For our 95th celebration, we’re excited to bring this cherished holiday tradition closer to its original form as we walk the streets of New York City and into the homes of an audience nationwide.”

Whether you’re planning to enjoy the festivities of the hustle and bustle of the sidewalks or the cozy comforts of your sofa, we’ve got all the details on what to look out for, when to look for it and how!


For over nine decades, the magic of the holiday season began with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. This year, the parade passes for the 95th time, showcasing its signature blend of whimsical elements and dazzling performances.

Created in 1924, the parade has only been canceled three times (1942, 1943 and 1944) since its creation. The event draws an estimated 3.5 million spectators to the streets of New York City and more than 50 million more who tune in nationwide. For so many Americans, watching the parade, from near and far, is as much a Thanksgiving tradition as turkey and mashed potatoes.


Yes! Following last year’s televised celebration, the parade will be open to spectators as usual this year. To safely re-produce the annual Thanksgiving Day celebration, Macy’s partnered closely with the City and State of New York to create an event production plan that would ensure that health and wellness practices security are aligned with current CDC guidelines, as well as state and local government protocols. .


How to Watch Macy's Thanksgiving 2021 Parade - Your Complete Guide!

The official parade route is 2.5 miles from 77th & Central Park West in the south to 34th Street-Herald Square.

For spectators in New York or those traveling to the city to see it live, the procession begins by descending Central Park West to Columbus Circle, then turns on Central Park South, then continues on 6th Avenue / Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the parade makes its final turn west and ends at 7th Avenue across from Macy’s Herald Square.


In accordance with the most up-to-date health guidelines, New York City will manage public display locations and safety procedures along designated portions of the route.

There is no vaccination requirement for the general public to attend this outdoor event.

For its participants and staff, Macy’s will implement several health and safety procedures in all areas of production.

The 2021 health and safety procedures include, but are not limited to the following:

  • All volunteer participants and staff will be vaccinated. Vaccine checks will be carried out at all entry points behind the house. Some exceptions to this procedure may be made at the sole discretion of Macy’s and its medical consultant depending on certain extenuating circumstances. For these rare cases, Macy’s medical consultant will administer the COVID-19 tests and allow the person to participate in the parade.
  • All participants and staff, regardless of immunization status, will wear face coverings and additional protective equipment, as warranted by their role. Where applicable, exceptions may include singers, dancers and musicians performing en route or for national broadcast.
  • Macy’s will implement a reduction in the total number of participants by 10 to 20 percent (approximately 800 to 1,600 participants).
  • Social distancing practices will be in place in all indoor / outdoor parade operations, including costume areas, seating and participant registration.


Aespa, Jimmie Allen, Jon Batiste, Blue’s Clues & You will join the festivities for 2021! host Josh Dela Cruz and former Blue’s Clues hosts Steve Burns and Donovan Patton, Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Jordan Fisher, Foreigner, the cast of Peacock’s Girls5eva (Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell, Busy Philipps), Andy Grammer, Mickey Guyton, Chris Lane, Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier, the Cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Nelly, Kim Petras, Kelly Rowland, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood, Tai Verdes, Zoe Wees and Tauren Wells; with a special appearance of the one and only Santa Claus.

The best Broadway shows will also be performing, including SIX, Moulin Rouge! The musical and one of Broadway’s longest-running hits, Wicked; with a taste of Annie Live! Plus, the breathtaking Radio City Rockettes will bring their signature magic to Herald Square.

The CBS show will feature performances by actors from Waitress and Chicago.

How to Watch Macy's Thanksgiving 2021 Parade - Your Complete Guide!


The parade officially begins its march on November 25 at 9 a.m. and will end at 12 p.m. in all time zones on NBC. On CBS, the shows will air live from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET; 8: 00-11: 00 am CT live; 7: 00-10: 00 am live MT; and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT delayed.


For those who won’t be able to make it to the streets of New York City to watch in person, NBC and CBS will bring the show to your TV.

Viewers across the country can catch all of the action via specials on NBC and Telemundo. For the first time, fans can also stream the show on Peacock. Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker of the TODAY Show will host the three-hour telecast for NBC and Peacock. The Spanish simulcast on Telemundo will be hosted by Ana Jurka and Carlos Adyan, accompanied by Freddy Lomelí live from Sixth Avenue, and will feature a special appearance by Miss Universe Andrea Meza.

Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight will be featured on the CBS television network, which can also be streamed live on Paramount +.

How to Watch Macy's Thanksgiving 2021 Parade - Your Complete Guide!


Macy’s iconic giant balloons will be prepped for their Thanksgiving flights on Wednesday, November 24 on the Upper West Side. The Macy’s Balloon Inflation Celebration will be open to the public from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and will be limited to vaccinated guests and will take place with capacity limits to ensure social distancing practices are implemented.

Entrance to Balloon Inflation is accessible from 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue. After the vaccine check and security check, guests will be able to walk through the checkpoint to see the 77th and 81st Streets balloons.

Photos courtesy of Macy’s

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