Tuesday, November 25 2014 @ 06:22 PM


Before we dig into the turkey and cranberry with our families, we love to wake up in the morning for the Thanksgiving Day Parade! This live event kicks off the holiday season, making its way from New York City’s Central Park to the front of Macy’s Herald Square and filling the city with music, balloons, our favorite stars, and more! Here are 5 reasons we can’t wait to watch…


1. The giant balloons! Nothing says Thanksgiving like our favorite characters flying through the air. The humongous balloons can be as tall as a 5-story building, and they take over 50 people to keep them from flying away. This year’s lineup includes SIX new characters---the most new balloons ever! Paddington Bear, Pikachu, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, Skylanders Eruptor and Thomas the Tank Engine all take to the sky for the first time.


And of course there are returning favorites like Hello Kitty, Spiderman, Spongebob Squarepants, Papa Smurf, Snoopy & Woodstock and The Elf on the Shelf!


2. The floats! There are FIVE new floats this year! Look out for 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.


These join many returning classic floats including Tom Turkey, 1-2-3 Sesame Street, Big Apple, Frozen Fall Fun, It’s All Rock & Roll, Winter Wonderland in Central Park and A World at Sea.


3. Music performances! Our favorite celebrities ride the floats and sing along the parade route. Scheduled to appear this year are: Broadway superstar Idina Menzel (aka the voice of Elsa from FROZEN!), singer and our current crush Nick Jonas, “Boy Meets Girl” star Sabrina Carpenter, pop star Becky G., Brit pop group The Vamps, pop band Before You Exit, pop rockers The Madden Brothers (Joel and Benji), “All About That Bass” singer Meghan Trainor, “Pretty Little Liars” star and singer Lucy Hale, acapella group Pentatonix, “Annie” star Quvenzhane Wallis, Pop-Rap duo MKTO and MORE! Whew!


4. Marching Bands and Performance Groups! Strike up the band! The nation’s best high school and college marching bands will be twirling and keeping time down the Parade route, visiting from states like Indiana, Nevada, Texas and even the home state of New York.


And in additional to these talented marchers, keep an eye out for basketball sensations The Harlem Globetrotters, Spirit of America Dance and Varsity Spirit Cheer. We’ll have pom poms in hand to couch-cheer!


5. Santa Claus!!! And if all this weren’t enough, the final float of the parade is the best, when the man in the red suit rides in on his sleigh and spreads holiday cheer down Broadway. It’s a long trip from the North Pole to Macy’s, but Santa and Mrs. Claus would never miss it.  Have you been naughty or nice this year? Santa will be making his list and checking it twice!


Happy Thanksgiving!


“The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” airs live on Thursday, November 27th at 9 am EST on NBC.


By Dema Hanna