The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is celebrating its 93rd year in 2019, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the United States. The parade has been broadcast on NBC since 1952 and this year, the hosts are NBC morning show personalities Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker.
The performance lineup is once again chock full of some of the best and brightest singers and celebrities working today. The big headliner this year is Celine Dion, who, according to an NBC press release, will give “a special debut performance from her new album Courage.”
But Dion is just one of several dozen acts who will take to the street to wow spectators and TV viewers alike. Other performers include Billy Porter, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots from The Tonight Show, Jon Bauman, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Natasha Bedingfield, Black Eyed Peas, NHL legends Dominic Moore and Eddie Olczyk, Ciara, Josh Dela Cruz, Debbie Gibson, Chris Janson, Chris Young, Chicago, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, former NASA astronauts Kay Hire and Janet Kavandi, the cast of Sesame Street, NCT 127, Ozuna, Kelly Rowland, That Girl Lay Lay, Tenille Townes, Mike Joy, and TLC.
Every year there are also performances put on by current Broadway casts — the parade is held in New York, after all. In 2019, the musical theater performances include the casts of Ain’t Too Proud, Beetlejuice, Hadestown, and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. And of course, the world-famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes will be on hand like they are every year to perform a high-stepping number on the street in front of Macy’s department store.
New balloons for 2019 include Astronaut Snoopy (the eighth version), Smokey Bear (the second version), SpongeBob SquarePants (the third version) with Gary the Snail, and Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.
NBC’s coverage begins at 9 a.m. ET/PT on Thursday (Nov. 28) on TV or viewers can watch on NBC.com or the NBC mobile app. There is also a special Verizon 360 live stream (below) hosted by Terry Crews and Lilly Singh.
CBS also covers the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, though they aren’t the official broadcast network for the festivities. But CBS’ coverage does include pre-taped Broadway performances and an exclusive performance by country superstar Miranda Lambert. The CBS coverage begins at 9 a.m. ET/PT and is hosted by Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight (who is also a former Radio City Rockette). CBS’ coverage will also stream live on CBS All Access.
Thanksgiving Day parades have a rich history. The granddaddy of them all is not actually the Macy’s parade, but Philadelphia’s Gimbel Brothers-sponsored Thanksgiving procession that ran in 1920. The Macy’s parade, which was called Macy’s Christmas Parade in its first year, started in 1924, as did Detroit’s J.L. Hudson-sponsored Thanksgiving parade. The inclusion of gigantic helium-filled balloons started a few years later when Macy’s debuted Felix the Cat in 1927.