Each year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade attracts 3.5 million spectators from around the world, some even lining up in the early morning hours just to secure a good viewing spot along the parade route.
The parade, which starts at 9 a.m., begins at 77th Street and Central Park West, heads south to Columbus Circle, then east on Central Park South to Sixth Avenue. From there, the parade marches south on Sixth Avenue to Herald Square.
It will be the 90th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a tradition that began in 1924. (It was suspended from 1942 to 1944 because of World War II.)
If you’re planning on catching Hello Kitty, Pikachu and the rest of the gang in person on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, scroll down to see the best viewing spots -- along with the worst spots and helpful tips.
Central Park West – if you’re an early bird
Each year, Central Park West between 59th and 75th streets is filled with excited paradegoers before most people have gotten out of bed. Macy’s says people will start lining up along this section of the parade route at 6 a.m.
The viewing options at Columbus Circle are aplenty, which is helpful when your vying for coveted public space with millions of other people. This is where the parade makes its first turn, so you're bound to spot all of the awesome floats whether you’re standing on Central Park West or Central Park South. Or you can head up to the second and third floors of the Shops at Columbus Circle for an elevated -- and warmer -- view of the parade.
Central Park South at Sixth Avenue
The intersection of Central Park South and Sixth Avenue is another spot with multiple vantage points. It also offers a great view of the parade as it heads south toward Herald Square. Macy’s suggests paradegoers stay above 38th Street; the closer you get to Herald Square, the less space there will be for the public.
Worst spots for viewing:
- 77th Street and Central Park West: The start of the parade offers little-to-no public viewing options.
- Sixth Avenue between 34th and 38th streets: The national television broadcast limits space in this area.
- Herald Square: There is almost no public viewing here, and grandstand tickets are not for sale to the general public.