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Photograph: Filip Wolak

Everything you need to know about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Written by
Clayton Guse

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade returns for its 91st edition on Thursday. It’s the largest parade in the world, drawing more than three million attendees and an estimated 50 million more viewers from home. It’s one of the best events to check out in New York in November and is a fitting kickoff to the holiday season in the city. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s parade.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Thanksgiving in NYC

When is the parade?

The parade takes place on Thanksgiving Day (naturally), which lands on Thursday, November 23, this year. It begins at 9am and runs for roughly three hours.

Where is the parade?

The parade starts on the Upper West Side near the American Museum of Natural History at 77th Street and Central Park West. From there, it proceeds south down Central Park West, east on 59th Street and south again down Sixth Avenue before coming to an end on 34th Street outside the Macy’s flagship Herald Square location.

How can I watch it if I’m not attending?

The parade will be televised on local NBC stations, but if you’re a cord-cutter, you can still view the event online for free. Verizon is hosting a 360-degree live stream of the procession on YouTube, and NBC New York is streaming the event on its website for free.

Where should I watch the parade?

The route is set to be jam-packed, so if you want to score a good spot, you’re going to want to arrive early. You can also book a guided tour, which will give you unobstructed views of the balloons, floats, and Thanksgiving magic all morning long. If you want to avoid the procession altogether but are still interested in checking out the giant balloons, head to the American Museum of Natural History between 1pm and 8pm on Wednesday to watch the creations be inflated—it’s a surreal experience. 

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