In 2022, 22.3 million tuned into watch, balloons, marching bands and floats are traipse through the streets of New York City ending with Santa and Mrs. Claus heralding in the Christmas Season, presumably Santa dashes back up to the North Pole after to check his list twice and prepare for his grand journey.
Each year since the parade’s conception in 1924, the parade has added more floats, balloons and performers. In that first year there were three floats pulled by horses, four bands and zoo animals, camels, donkeys, elephants and goats, from the Central Park Zoo.
The first balloons were introduced in 1927, when they replaced the zoo animals. The first balloons captured the likeness of cartoon characters of the day like Felix the Cat. At the conclusion of the parade the balloons were released into the air. In 1928, Macy’s started offering a $100 reward for any returned balloons. This tradition of releasing the balloons continued until 1932 when there was nearly plane crash.
In 1934 celebrities became more important in the parade with Eddie Cantor, singer/actor, joined the parade. This year also marked the first appearance by one Mickey Mouse in the form of a balloon.
During World War II the parade was cancelled due to a shortage of helium and rubber. But in 1945 the parade returned bigger and better and was broadcast on televisions for the first time. The parade continued uninterrupted until 2020 when there were much fewer spectators allowed along the parade route and marching bands were not allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year in keeping with tradition the parade will be bigger and better than the years before featuring, 25 balloons, 6 balloonicles, 31 floats, 11 marching bands, 17 performers, 29 clown crews and 7 performance groups.
The new floats joining the parade will be The Deliciously Delectable World of Wonka, Palace of Sweets, Mutant Mayhem, Igniting Memories, Good Burger Mobile and Camp Snoopy. This year eight new balloons will be floating down the route. Spectators will see The Pillsbury Doughboy, Uncle Dan, Monkey D. Luffy, Kung Fu Panda’s Po, Leo, Blue Cat & Chugs and Beagle Scout Snoopy. Among the performers viewers may see Pentatonix, Jon Batiste, Miss America Grace Stanke, Cher, Ashley Park, Brandy and many more.
The parade will be broadcast on NBC from 8:30 until noon, local time. One can also view it on Peacock, NBC’s streaming app, as well as Hulu+ Live TC, FuboTV and Sling