Major visitors’ boom expectation at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Published on : Thursday, November 25, 2021

Last year, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a muted affair. Because of the pandemic, it was a TV-only event. No animated crowds lining Manhattan’s avenues. No long parade route. What a difference Covid-19 vaccines and 12 months make.

The 2021 spectacle will return to the more familiar parade of yore. Travellers and residents will have 2.5 miles of public viewing as balloons, floats and bands make their way from the Upper West Side to Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square.

Longtime New York City resident Lisa Fischer is simply delighted about the 95th annual parade, which starts at 9 a.m. ET Thursday.

Fischer has a lot of in-person, treasured experiences with the parade. When her two children were younger, Fischer used to take them to watch the giant balloons being inflated. Then they’d catch the parade on TV the next day in their pyjamas at home.

Around 2004, they had a particularly memorable time watching up close.

Here’s what folks on the ground and watching on TV can expect. Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in a small area around the Macy’s flagship store — just enough room to stage it for broadcast.

This year it will take a more traditional route, starting at West 77th Street and Central Park West, but with no or limited public viewing there, according to Macy’s official parade website.

Early birds start arriving around 6 a.m. Thursday on Central Park West from West 75th to West 61st streets. This stretch is considered to have great views. The parade will then make a turn at Columbus Circle — again no public viewing at the circle.

After a relatively short distance down Central Park South, the parade will head south on 6th Avenue for the long trip toward Midtown Manhattan. Macy’s touts the views from West 59th to West 38th streets.

The parade makes its final turn on 34th street and terminates in front of the flagship store (no public viewing here either).

Not only that, but the weather will be crisp and beautiful, Jones said. It may be a little bit cold in the early hours, the upper 30s to lower 40s. But by the time Santa hits Herald Square, it will be mostly sunny with a temperature of about 50 degrees, if not a bit warmer, he said.

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