NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The stars have aligned as the nation’s most beloved holiday event, the 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® kicks-off the holiday season. On Thursday, Nov. 22 at 9 a.m., the Macy’s Parade will take to the streets of Manhattan and into millions of homes nationwide, debuting a new route along 6th Avenue, with amazing starpower and an incredible line-up of new balloons and floats.
“As it has during turbulent times in our history, we hope the Macy’s Parade serves as a beacon of hope and renewal for all Americans who will gather with friends and family to give thanks this season and begin to heal from the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.”
Featuring signature elements, the Macy’s Parade has marked the start of the holiday season since its inception in 1924. Set to create new memories and magical moments for more than 3 million live spectators and over 50 million viewers across the country, this year the line-up of wonder unfolds with 16 giant character balloons; 40 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 28 floats; 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers; 900 clowns; 11 marching bands; a host of celebrity performers and the one-and-only Santa Claus.
“The 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will again make history as it debuts three impressive giant balloons, six over-the-top floats, an amazing array of talent and the most remarkable high school, college and professional marching bands in the nation,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She added, “As it has during turbulent times in our history, we hope the Macy’s Parade serves as a beacon of hope and renewal for all Americans who will gather with friends and family to give thanks this season and begin to heal from the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.”
The 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will step-off at 77th Street and Central Park West. The procession will travel down to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down a new path via 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas to 34th Street. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square. This incredible cavalcade will make its way down 6th Avenue, a broader, more accessible path that marks only the seventh time the Parade has changed its route.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Macy’s (NYSE:M) has begun prepping the new route for Thanksgiving Day. Please visit http://media.dssimon.com/mcy_banner for b-roll of 6th Avenue being readied for the Macy’s Parade, along with soundbites and an interactive route map.)
Providing the star power on Thanksgiving are performers from music, film, sports, theatre and television. As they reach their marks on 34th Street, the nation will revel in their spectacular appearances. Joining the festivities this year are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Trace Adkins; Big Apple Circus; Chica and the gang from Sprout®; Colbie Caillat; Rachel Crow; Thirza Defoe; Jimmy Fallon & The Roots; Flo Rida; Whoopi Goldberg; Chris Isaak; Carly Rae Jepsen; Karmin; Kidz Bop; Christian Laettner; Sandra Lee; Mannheim Steamroller; Jennette McCurdy; Don McLean; Megan & Liz; Miss USA 2012 – Olivia Culpo; the Muppets and cast of Sesame Street; Neon Trees; Power Rangers Megaforce; Cody Simpson; U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists - Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber; The Wanted; and Food Network’s Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. Adding to the Parade’s signature entertainment will be performances from Broadway’s best musicals including Annie, Bring It On, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Elf, and Nice Work If You Can Get It. In addition, the world-famous Radio City Rockettes® will join the presentation to help kick-off the holidays.
Debuting in the ballooning lineup on Thanksgiving this year is Santa’s favorite scout elf from the new beloved children’s Christmas tradition The Elf on the Shelf®, the loveable Hello Kitty© aboard her fabulous airplane, and the smurferrific Papa Smurf.
Fun facts and figures on the new giant balloons:
THE ELF ON THE SHELF®
CCA and B, LLC
The Elf on the Shelf will take his first flight in the Macy’s Parade this Thanksgiving. Sent by Santa Claus to watch over good little boys and girls around the world, the Elf on the Shelf will take his reporting duties to new heights, measuring 46-feet tall, 28-feet wide and 64-feet long in the Parade line-up.
Returning to the line-up to say hello to her many friends is Hello Kitty. Flying high in her new airplane, Hello Kitty will spread happiness and friendship along the Parade route and into homes across the country. Hello Kitty, with her trademark red bow and 1970’s retro airplane design, stands at 36-feet tall, 38-feet wide and 50-feet long as she soars over the Big Apple bringing smiles to her millions of fans.
SONY PICTURES ANIMATION
Papa Smurf is ready for his big debut on Thanksgiving, jumping for joy and dancing his way down the route. Sporting a festive bow tie and cane and clicking his heels to the holiday fun, Papa Smurf is sure to delight millions of fans who are eagerly anticipating his return in The Smurfs 2 set for the big screen next summer. Measuring 51-feet tall, 36-feet wide and 46-feet long, Papa Smurf will help usher in a Happy Smurfgiving to one and all!
Setting the stage for wondrous adventures are the Parade’s signature floats. Taking spectators through magical experiences, the floats set the scene for amazing performances. Joining the line-up this year are six new landscapes including the imaginative Daytime, Play Time, Night Time Too …; the wonderland of Goldfish® on Parade; the beats lifestyle magic of Music is Our Life; the hoops appreciation on board the 75 Years of March Madness®; the home- baked goodies of Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations; and the ninja precision of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Fun facts and figures about the new floats:
DAYTIME, PLAY TIME, NIGHT TIME TOO …
From morning to night, Sprout is a place where parents and kids can share everything from singing and dancing to birthday wishes and bedtime stories. Bringing this preschool TV vision to life, this colorful new float features Chica the Chicken and all her friends from Sprout. From a playful barnyard to play time on a stream aboard a newspaper sailboat, and finally to a night time oasis atop a giant tree house, childrens’ limitless imaginations take to the physical world in spectacular form. Aboard for the ride is the star of the “The Chica Show” herself, who will perform “Squeaka Chica” with her friends for the holiday crowds.
GOLDFISH® ON PARADE
Finn and his Goldfish friends Gilbert, Brooke and Xtreme have decided to have a parade. Inspired by Macy’s great American tradition, they’ve gathered up some books and toys to create a whimsical Thanksgiving Day procession. Finn leads the way in a dapper top hat and shades as the parade’s grand marshal. Xtreme uses pencils to “stilt walk” down the route while Brooke drives the wind up car which tows Gilbert on his float made of buttons, caps and a whistle. The march comes to life as it seemingly jumps out of a New York City pop-up book. The Goldfish characters’ vision wouldn’t be complete without a balloon, and so Finn & Friends have transformed a classic toy balloon into a flying wonder. On board for the Turkey Day fun is Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy singing “That’s What Christmas Means To Me.”
MUSIC IS OUR LIFE
Music surrounds us, overwhelms us and makes us feel alive each day, and the newest float in the Parade takes that statement to heart. Featuring a massive Gibson “Les Paul” Guitar as its centerpiece, the Music is Our Life float defines the ultimate entertainment experience, delivering a universal message of fun and excitement! Complete with full lighting and staging, the float will come alive and pay tribute to the creative process and the enjoyment that entertainment brings to our lives each day. The multi-level stage will include a DJ Booth, a simulated “club scene” complete with dancers and revelers, and feature a performance from Jimmy Fallon & The Roots - all wowing the parade crowds. It’s music, entertainment and a little “life-stylin’” on this incredible float.
75 YEARS OF MARCH MADNESS®
March Madness takes Thanksgiving aboard this new float celebrating the 75th year of the NCAA’s Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and the resulting fan revelry. Hoops take center stage on the multi-level float featuring two regulation-sized basketball hoops. Styled after a basketball court, the float also is adorned with the pendants of the 34 colleges who have won the prestigious tournament during its 75-year history. On board to celebrate will be a number of former student-athletes including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of UCLA and Christian Laettner of Duke.
STIRRIN’ UP SWEET SENSATIONS
Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations the new Domino Sugar float features a magical take on holiday baking. Designed and constructed by the artists of Macy’s Parade Studio, the centerpiece of this 26-foot tall float is the giant cookie dough bowl and cookie press that dishes out the confections. Three stories above the ground a giant spoon stirs the cookie dough in an equally colossal bowl. As it travels into the cookie press, the dough drops in perfect dollops onto the turntable and finally into the oven. The savory treats are then baked a golden brown and shoot down the ramp to the awaiting cars of the Cookie Express train which is ready to deliver the yummy baked goodness to children everywhere. Set to add his down-home flavor to the mix is country superstar Trace Adkins who will perform “Just Fishin’.”
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
NICKELODEON’S TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo are back! For the first time, Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles emerge aboard an out-of-this world float. Designed by the artists of Macy’s Parade Studio, the float unfolds with breathtaking ninja precision and features a spectacular dark cityscape including roof tops, fire escapes, window ledges and a zip line down telephone wires. Taking a ride with the Turtles on their Thanksgiving journey will be rockers Neon Trees singing their Top 5 smash hit “Everybody Talks.”
The 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationwide on NBC-TV from 9 a.m. - Noon.
A Holiday Treat for Children Everywhere is the guiding motto of this national tradition, which continues to this day. For more information on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, please visit www.macys.com/parade or call the Parade hotline at 212-494-4495.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Macy’s Parade Multimedia News Materials including images, B-roll, press releases, maps and more are available at www.magicbulletmedia.com/MNR/MacysParade)