Thanksgiving 2021 TV Schedule: What to Watch Instead of Football

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For millions of Americans, football is as much a Thanksgiving tradition as turkey and pumpkin pie. But what if you want a sports-free alternative?

Falling on the fourth Thursday of every November, Thanksgiving falls on November 25, 2021 this year. The holiday boasts a television schedule featuring Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show.

Here is what you need to know:


95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Time: The 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 a.m. ET, running for three hours until noon.

Channel: Multiple channels and streaming services cover the annual parade, including NBC and CBS.

Description: The 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a holiday staple in New York City and is watched by millions in their own home.

According the press release, “The 95th march of the world-famous Parade of magic will bring the nation together in celebration featuring Macy’s signature mix of giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, incredible marching bands, jubilant performance groups, whimsical clowns, music stars and the one-and-only Santa Claus.”

While this year will see returning balloons – such as Boss Baby, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Pillsbury Doughboy and Spongebob Squarepants – it will also debut six new balloons. Among them is Tiptoe, the parade’s first balloon puppet to march the route.


National Dog Show 2021

Time: The National Dog Show will run for two hours, starting at noon local time, NBC Sports reported.

Channel: The National Dog Show can be watched on NBC. To find your local station, click here.

Description: According to NBC Sports, the National Dog Show is put on annually by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, dating back to 1879.

The show is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club which recognizes 197 dog breeds and varieties, divided into seven groups, according to the publication. Only purebred dogs registered with the organization can compete. This year the Biewer Terrier breed will make its debut.

NBC Sports detailed the show’s safety protocol amid the coronavirus pandemic, noting, “The competition was also limited to 600 dogs, a 70% decrease from the nearly 2,000 who compete in a regular year.”

John O’Hurley and David Frei are reprising their role as hosts and Mary Carillo will return as a commentator.


World Pet Games

Time: The World Pet Games will air at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. The special will last for two hours.

Channel: The competition series will air on Fox. To find your local station click here.

Description: The competition is described by Fox as an “Interspecies Race.” According to People, it will also feature “an interspecies dunk off, a cat obstacle course, an extreme dog catch contest, and a dog high jump competition.”

​​The publication describes it as a “celebration of animal athletes from close to 20 different countries.” The special boasts animals ranging from canines to anteates and even beareded dragons. One of the contestants is Peabody the miniature horse with dwarfism.

The competition is hosted by Erin Andrews and Finesse Mitchell, featuring Rachel Bonnetta as a sideline reporter.

READ NEXT: New Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021 Balloons


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