With Thanksgiving right around the corner, everybody’s thoughts are on football, family and most importantly, FOOD!! But there is also another tradition that I have always loved to partake in: watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place in the heart of New York City and is one of the world’s largest parades. Begun in 1924, this three-hour parade is held in Manhattan 8–11 a.m., CST. Hosted by Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker, the parade is televised nationally on NBC and has been ever since 1952.

Started by Newark, New Jersey native, Louis Bamberger, when his store was transferred to New York City’s Macy’s. Employees would march to Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street dressed in vibrant costumes. Also included were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. As has been the tradition ever since, at the end of the parade, Santa Claus is welcomed into Herald Square. With an audience of over 250,000 people, the parade was an instant success and one so great that Macy’s declared it would become an annual event, thereafter.

The route for the 93rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

One of the biggest draws of the parade are its iconic balloons. The balloons come in three distinct varieties. The first (and oldest of the three) is the novelty balloon. Consisting of smaller balloons; the novelty balloons range widely in size and are handled by between one and thirty people. The second class (and the more widely known) is the full-size balloon class. Consisting primarily of licensed pop-culture characters, each balloon is handled by exactly 90 people. The third and most recent class, begun in 2005, is the Blue Sky Gallery balloon. This balloon transforms the works of contemporary artists into full-size balloons. Also included in the parade are “falloons.” Falloons are float-based balloons that were introduced in 1990. In addition to the balloons; the parade includes featured acts and performers as well as various marching bands.

The Character balloons at this year’s parade will include Astronaut Snoopy, Smokey the Bear, SpongeBob SquarePants with Gary the Snail and Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. This year’s Novelty balloon will consist of an Ice Cream Cone. The Blue Sky Gallery balloon is a rendition of renowned Artist Yayoi Kusama’s Love Flies Up to the Sky. And this year’s Falloon will be of Blue from the Blue’s Clues & You! television show.

The Featured performers at this year’s parade will include Celine Dion, Billy Porter, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jon Bauman, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Natasha Bedingfield, the 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.

So kick back, relax and start your Thanksgiving right by checking out The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!