via press release:
Meredith Vieira ("Today") to Co-Host With Matt Lauer ("Today") and Al Roker ("Today")
New York, NY – November 17, 2010 – NBC officially kicks off the holiday season with the live broadcast of the 84th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® from New York City, co-hosted by "Today's" Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, along with Al Roker. The nation’s most cherished procession returns with a dazzling dose of spectacle, enchantment and tradition as the parade route will once again travel down 7th and 6th Avenue to Macy’s Herald Square. This year's parade celebration will air on NBC from 9:00 a.m.- noon in all time zones.
Some of today’s brightest stars from the world of stage, screen, and music will ride atop the parade’s moving stages down the historic route. This year’s star-studded cast include: India Arie, Big Time Rush, Betty Buckley, Ann Hampton Callaway, the casts of Broadway’s American Idiot, Elf, Memphis and Million Dollar Quartet, the Big Apple Circus, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Miranda Cosgrove, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Gloriana, Michael Grimm, Arlo Guthrie, Keri Hilson, Eric Hutchinson, Juanes, Victoria Justice, Gladys Knight, Mannheim Steamroller, Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih, Power Rangers Samurai, Joan and Melissa Rivers, Crystal Shawanda, Jessica Simpson, Kylie Minogue, and Kanye West. The telecast will also feature special performances from select members of the a cappella teams competing on NBC’s The Sing-Off and the world-famous Radio City Rockettes.
“The 84th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a timeless tradition, will continue to be the biggest and best ever,” said Doug Vaughan, Senior Vice President of NBC Special Programs and Alternative Development. “We’re extremely proud to once again air this historic event to kick off the holiday season.”
Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, commented, “Our 84th Macy’s Parade will once again entertain an entire nation with a fantastic pageant filled with the most popular giant character helium balloons, awe-inspiring floats, the nation’s best marching bands, and a dazzling array of other elements that will enchant millions of Parade fans everywhere.”
The Macy’s Parade will once again follow a route first taken last year as the procession winds down to Macy’s Herald Square. Beginning at 77th Street and Central Park West, the parade will travel south to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South before making a right turn to march down 7th Avenue to 42nd Street. The parade will then turn east towards 6th Avenue where it will march down the Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the parade will make its final turn west marching in front of Macy’s Herald Square.
The 84th edition of the parade will feature 15 giant character balloons; 43 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles and balloonheads; 27 floats; 1,600 cheerleaders, dancers and performance group members; 800 clowns; 12 marching bands; and a host of celebrity performers.
Joining the line-up of iconic characters this year are two new helium giants including Diary of A Wimpy Kid and Kung Fu Panda™, as well as new entries into the Parade’s art-focused “Blue Sky Gallery Series” - Takashi Murakami’s rambunctious duo Kaikai and Kiki. The airborne gallery features inflatable versions of famed artistic works. With these balloons, Murakami joins Tom Otterness, Jeff Koons and Keith Haring in the line-up of artists that have contributed works to the Parade. In addition to these twin balloons, the Macy’s Parade will debut a new balloonicle of the very sporty Kool-Aid® Man. Also, making her debut is a balloon version of the animated Virginia O’Hanlon, the 8-year old girl who taught the world to believe when she wrote a letter to the editor that elicited the world-known response – “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.”
Riding down the street on Thanksgiving Day will be the Parade’s fantastic line-up of floats that feature landscapes of fantasy. These moving stages transport millions of spectators on unexpected journeys. This year’s fleet includes 27 floats, seven of which are new. The rookies include the holiday quest on board Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure™, the dance party on Elves Raise the Roof, the scrumptious delights on board the Home Baked Goodness float, the historical significance of Mount Rushmore’s American Pride, the adorable traveling duck family of the On the Roll Again float, the icy beauty of the Snow Queen, and the legendary stage of the Top Hat! float.
Representing their home state and local community, the musical heart of the parade comes from the jaw-dropping talents of its incredible marching bands. Striking a special note this year is Latin Marching Band “Pedro Molina” that will be making their New York debut straight from Guatemala. Ready to step to the beat are Blue Springs High School from Blue Springs, MO; Eastern High School from Middleton, KY; Grants Pass High School from Grants Pass, OR; Green Valley High School from Henderson, NV; Lassiter High School from Marietta, GA; Latin Marching Band “Pedro Molina” from Guatemala; Purdue University from West Lafayette, IN; University of Southern Mississippi from Hattiesburg, MS; Seminole High School from Seminole, FL; Waukesha North High School from Waukesha, WI; and Macy’s Great American Marching Band featuring students from all fifty states.
Broadcast on NBC since 1948, the parade has been transformed by television into a national tradition. Brad Lachman is Executive Producer and Bill Bracken is Producer.