Thanksgiving parade: Best places to watch along the route

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.

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.

This year will be the 92nd 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 to catch Hello Kitty, Pikachu and the rest of the gang in person on Thursday, read on to learn more about the best (and worst) viewing spots.

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.

Columbus Circle

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 several vantage points. It also offers a great view of the parade as it heads south toward Herald Square.

Sixth Avenue between West 59th and 38th streets

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.
  • 34th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues: 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.