It is time once again for the annual Turkey Day tradition of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year is it’s 95th extravaganza, broadcast on NBC, which has been the parade’s official broadcast home since 1953.
“Today” show anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker are hosting the festivities for NBC, while Ana Jurka and Carlos Adyan, Freddy Lomelí and the current Miss Universe, Andrea Meza, will anchor the Spanish-language simulcast on Telemundo.
Here’s what you need to know about the performers and performance lineup.
The Celebrity Appearances
Headlining the celebrity appearances are “Dancing With the Stars” alumni Jimmie Allen, Andy Grammer, Nelly, and Jordan Fisher. Grammer finished 7th on the 21st season with partner Allison Holker, Allen recently finished 7th on the 30th season with partner Emma Slater, Nelly came in 3rd place on season 29 with Daniella Karagach, and Fisher won the Mirrorball Trophy in season 25 alongside partner Lindsay Arnold.
Other performers include Jon Batiste, “Blue’s Clues & You!” host Josh Dela Cruz and the former hosts of “Blue’s Clues” Steve Burns and Donovan Patton, Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Foreigner, the cast of Peacock’s “Girls5eva” (Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell, Busy Philipps), Mickey Guyton, Chris Lane, Miss America Camille Schrier, the cast and Muppets of “Sesame Street,” Kim Petras, Kelly Rowland, Rob Thomas, Tai Verdes, Zoe Wees, Tauren Wells — and of course, Santa Claus.
Additionally, “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood will be doing a special performance from her new album “My Gift,” plus there will be performances from the Broadway casts of “SIX,” “Moulin Rouge!”, and “Wicked,” and a sneak peek at NBC’s next live musical, “Annie Live!”, which premieres December 2 on NBC. And as always, the Radio City Rockettes will be kicking things up a notch with a high-stepping performance in Herald Square.
The Floats and Balloons
According to NBC’s press release, the returning balloons this year include:
- “Astronaut Snoopy” by Peanuts Worldwide
- “The Boss Baby” by DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures
- “Diary of A Wimpy Kid” by Abrams Books
- Sinclair’s “DINO” by Sinclair Oil Corporation
- “Goku” by Toei Animations, Inc.
- Chase from “PAW Patrol” by Nickelodeon
- “Pillsbury Doughboy” by Pillsbury
- “Red Titan” from “Ryan’s World” by Sunlight Entertainment and pocket.watch
- Papa Smurf from “The Smurfs” by Nickelodeon
- “Sonic the Hedgehog” by SEGA
- “SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary” by Nickelodeon
New balloons for 2021 include “Ada Twist, Scientist” by Netflix, a Funko Pop! inspired “Grogu” (aka Baby Yoda) from the “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian,” a new “Ronald McDonald” balloon by McDonald’s and “Pikachu” and “Eevee” by the Pokemon International Company. There will also be several inflatable vehicles (balloonicles and trycaloons).
In 2021, the parade will debut six new floats:
- “Birds of a Feather Stream Together” by Peacock featuring the cast of Peacock’s “Girls5eva”
- “Celebration Gator” by Louisiana Office of Tourism featuring Jon Batiste
- “Colossal Wave of Wonder” by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions featuring Nelly
- “Gravy Pirates” by HEINZ
- “Magic Meets the Sea” by Disney Cruise Line featuring Jordan Fisher and special guests
- “Tiptoe’s North Pole”
The parade also features 10 marching bands from around the country, dancers from Ballet Hispanico’s School of Dance, the Broadway Education Alliance Youth Choir, dancers from the Fred Astaire Dance Studios, the St. John’s Dance Team, Spirit of America and Dance Stars, the Young People’s Chorus of NYC and many, many more.
The 95th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs Thursday, November 25 from 9 a.m. to noon in all time zones on NBC.