via press release:
THE 88TH ANNUAL MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE® MARKS THE START OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH THE NATION’S MOST BELOVED SPECTACLE, NOV. 27 ON NBC
Parade Airs Live 9 a.m. – noon (All Time Zones), Encore Presentation to Air Same Day 2-5 p.m. (All Time Zones)
NEW YORK – Nov. 3, 2014 – As the nation gathers to celebrate and give thanks with family and friends, the biggest spectacle of the holiday season returns to entertain millions, as the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® returns to NBC on Thursday, Nov. 27 (9a.m.-noon in all time zones.) Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie of NBC’s “Today” will anchor the broadcast.
More than 8,000 participants, some donning clown costumes, handling balloon giants or striking up the band will set down the streets of Manhattan at the sound of the time honored catchphrase Let’s Have a Parade™. With a live audience, more than 3.5 million strong and a nationwide television gathering of more than 50 million viewers, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the nation’s most beloved holiday pageant.
The star power on Thanksgiving Day comes courtesy of performers from music, film, sports, theatre and television. As they reach their marks on 34th Street, the nation will enjoy their spectacular performances. Joining the festivities this year are the Big Apple Circus, Before You Exit, William Blake, Sabrina Carpenter, Cirque du Soleil, Hilary Duff, Renee Fleming, Becky G., Lucy Hale, Nick Jonas, KISS, Sandra Lee, The Madden Brothers, Idina Menzel, Miss USA 2014- Nia Sanchez, MKTO, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, NEEDTOBREATH, NHL® legends John LeClair and Pat LaFontaine, Pentatonix, Romeo Santos, Cole Swindell, Meghan Trainor, The Vamps, Quvenzhané Wallis, and more.
Kicking off the march will be a special group of children who have embodied the Parade’s spirit of teamwork. Throughout their remarkable run this past season at the Little League World Series, Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons displayed an inspiring level of collaboration, spirit and camaraderie – as perfectly evidenced by the group’s embrace and support of pitcher Mo’ne Davis. In honor of that exemplary effort this year the Taney Dragons will lead the procession down the streets of Manhattan with Macy’s Parade executive producer Amy Kule.
“Like turkey dinner and gathering with family, tradition means everything on Thanksgiving and we’re thrilled to once again telecast the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs and Late Night, NBC Entertainment. “It’s an annual heartwarming event that helps celebrate the holiday season.”
From its humble beginnings in 1924 to the breathtaking spectacular of today, the Macy’s Parade line-up unfolds each year in grand fashion. It’s not just a Parade marching down an avenue; it is a march through tradition, history and popular culture. The magic Parade’s famed line-up this year features 16 giant character balloons; 33 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 27 floats; 1,300 cheerleaders and dancers; 1000 clowns; 12 marching bands; and a host of celebrity performers.
“This is a record breaking year for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as we debut the largest new cast of giant character balloons ever assembled, along with five amazing new floats. Tens of millions of spectators will be amazed by what we have in store,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “In addition to an incredible line up of celebrity performers, America’s best high school and college marching bands, hundreds of dancers, cheerleaders, clowns, and balloon handlers, we are adding some new layers of interactivity to the Parade for the first time this year. From live cameras on a float capturing special moments along the route to incredible 360-degree panoramic photos where fans can find themselves part the action, and finally, through our Confetti Carpet, the behind the scenes look at the starting line with our celebrity performers; we are bringing the Macy’s Parade closer to audiences in New York City and in homes across the country.”
GIANTS IN THE SKY
The Parade’s signature giant balloons have for decades showcased the world’s most recognized characters. From comic strips and cartoons to films, video games and the collective pop culture psyche, these giants are a cast of wonder. Starting with a simple paper sketch and transformed via science and engineering by Macy’s “Balloonatics” into high flying art, the giants of wonder will return to inspire and amaze.
This year, Macy’s will introduce the biggest class of new balloons in its history. Six new giant characters will take to the sky including the loveable Peruvian bear Paddington™; the always electrifying Pikachu™; the warm giggling Pillsbury Doughboy®; the vanquisher of evil the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger; the lava spewing Skylanders® Eruptor; and the friendly locomotive Thomas the Tank Engine®.
Rounding out the ballooning line-up are returning favorites including Adventure Time with Finn & Jake, Diary of A Wimpy Kid®, The Elf on the Shelf®, Hello Kitty®, Papa Smurf, Ronald McDonald®, Snoopy and Woodstock, Spider-Man, SpongeBob SquarePants and Toothless of How to Train Your Dragon. In addition, the balloon cast includes new balloonicles (a Macy’s Parade hybrid of cold-air balloon and vehicle) of the famed-spokesduck the Aflac Duck and Cloe the Holiday Clown, as well as the return of the KOOL-AID Man. In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the film classic, balloonheads of The Wizard of OZ™ characters will also make a special appearance.
FLOATING SCENE MAKERS
Macy’s floating stages take to the streets bringing a collection of whimsical treats that transport spectators into worlds of fantasy. These 360-degree masterpieces are created by Macy’s Parade Studio’s team of designers, carpenters, painters, animators, metal fabricators and electricians, who work to bring the initial visions on a sketch pad to larger-than-life form. While creativity is key, the team must also factor a very big detail when designing these marvels…these sometime three stories tall and several lanes of traffic wide creations, must collapse to no more than 12 ½-feet tall and 8-feet wide in order to safely travel from the New Jersey studio to the Manhattan starting line.
This year’s five new fantasy floats include Cracker Jack® Popcorn’s At the Ball Game; Sino- American Friendship Association’s Beauty of Beijing, Dora and Friends: Aventuras Fantasticas, GoldieBlox™’s The Girl-Powered Spinning Machine, and Pirate Booty®’s Treasure Hunt.
The returning float roster includes 1-2-3 Sesame Street; Big Apple; Bridge To The Future; Daytime, Play Time, Night Time Too…; Dreamseeker by Cirque du Soleil®; Enchanting World of Lindt Chocolate; Frozen Fall Fun; Goldfish® on Parade; International Cele-bear-ation Clock Tower; It’s All Rock & Roll; Marion-Carole Showboat; Mount Rushmore’s American Pride; On The Roll Again; Pep Rally; Santa’s Sleigh; The Smurfs™; Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Tom Turkey; Waves of Conservation; Winter Wonderland In Central Park; and A World at Sea.
DRUM ROLL, PLEASE…
At the center of the spectacle bringing the warm energy, enthusiasm and joy of performing are the nation’s best marching bands and rollicking performance groups. Together they add the musical heart and whimsical talent portion to the holiday revelry, delighting spectators along the route and providing television viewers with showstopping performances. Twelve performance ensembles will take up the call of the baton and march down the streets of Manhattan creating a wave of excitement. Joining the Thanksgiving Day revelry are American Fork High School (American Fork, UT), Bahama All Stars Marching Band (Nassau, Bahamas), Baldwinsville High School (Baldwinsville, NY), Center Grove High School (Greenwood, IN), Foothill High School (Henderson, NV), Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA), Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States), Madison Scouts Anniversary Corps (Madison, WI), NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY), Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Lexington, KY), Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC), and Winston Churchill High School (San Antonio, TX). The supply of sometimes wacky, but always fun entertainment includes the nation’s best performance groups. Taking the spotlight along the line of march are the Friendswood High School Wranglerettes (Friendswood, TX), Harlem Globetrotters, The New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies featuring Music Ambassador DJ Hektik (New Orleans, LA), Red Hot Mamas (Post Falls, ID), Spirit of America Dance (United States) and Varsity Spirit Cheer (United States).
AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE
The celebrity party begins early via various social media outlets when fans follow @macys to get special content from the Confetti Carpet. Pulling back the curtain to check out what happens backstage before the celebrities join the Parade, the Confetti Carpet will be the place for wacky and hilarious interactions with our celebrity cast. The revelry continues once the Parade steps off as the Cracker Jack At the Ball Game float passes by, giving spectators the opportunity to participate in the ultimate selfie, if they are caught on the baseball- themed float’s live cameras and beamed to the stadium’s jumbotron. To cap off Parade day interactive experiences, the New York Daily News’ Big Apple float will take special panoramic photos all along the route, which spectators can access via macys.com/parade post event, to see if they can spot themselves in the stunning 360-degree photos.
Fans nationwide can kick-off their own Parade experiences early by downloading the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade App. The App will give fans the chance to interact with the famed march, learn more about the elements and share content with their friends. From behind-the- scenes previews to the exclusive Elf-o-matic feature, which allows fans to transform themselves into an Elf balloon and share their high-flying debut with friends; the App is a one- stop destination for all things Macy’s Parade. The free app will be available from the iTunes® App Store or from Google Play. In addition to the interactive app experience this year, Macy’s iconic characters return to take center stage in a series of animated spots featuring Tom Turkey, Cloe the Holiday Clown, Happy Hippo, the rambunctious Elf trio and more. Catch the action on macys.com/parade and watch how Macy’s star characters prep for the big day as they re-enact scenes from classic New York based movies.
The 88th 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 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. A Holiday Treat for Children Everywhere has been the guiding motto of this annual national tradition for more than eight decades and is one which continues to this day.
Please note: All talent, performances, line-up and information included are subject to change.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast is produced by the Emmy-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman serves as executive producer, Bill Bracken serves as producer and Gary Halvorson directs.
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. Follow @macys and join the conversation at #MacysParade on various social networks.