For the 96th time, the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade launched the holiday season with the nation’s most famous holiday event on Nov. 24.
The 2.5 miles long parade, which launched in 1924, kicked off at West 77th Street and Central Park West, turned onto Central Park South at Columbus Circle, and then made its way down 6th Avenue.
Millions of revelers lined the street, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather and blue skies as they cheered on their favorite balloon characters, floats, marching bands, dancers, and performers.
This year’s parade hosted 16 giant character balloons — including the new kid on the block Bluey, and old-timers like Astronaut Snoopy — 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, more than 700 clowns, 12 marching bands, and ten performance groups, musical stars like Sean Paul, Jordin Sparks, and Gloria Estefan, and, of course, the highlight of the parade, Santa Claus.
Emmanuel and Iris Ornella came all the way from Mexico to watch the spectacle live.
Iris said that it had always been her dream to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person. They arrived at 5 am to score a coveted first-row spot along the parade route.
“I see the parade every year,” Iris said and shared she was looking forward to seeing “Ada Twist, Scientist” since Iris is a physician.
Emmanuel explained that they live on the Texas-Mexican border and that Mexicans along the border celebrate Thanksgiving.
“It’s a tradition every year. We make the turkey, and we celebrate,” Emmanuel said.
The Cuevas family from Dallas, Texas, braved wearing Dallas Cowboys gear and displaying a giant Dallas Cowboys flag in the city that is home to their greatest rival, the New York Giants.
It was their first time seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person, and they already had plans to watch the “big” game in the afternoon at an Irish bar that hosts mostly Cowboys fans on Giants territory.
“We are going to destroy the Giants,” they boasted. “We are going to squash them. The Giants are going to be the little giants.”
While the Griffin sisters didn’t have to travel far -they came “all the way” from New Jersey- they definitely scored in the early riser category. They arrived at 3 am and passed the time until the parade started playing games, reading, and sleeping.
They come to see the parade every year.
“It’s just tradition now,” they said. We just come so often. It’s fun.”