Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Newbies to look out for on Turkey Day

New York, New York – Get ready turkeys, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is landing in the Big Apple and on TV screens nationwide. And this year, sparkling stars, mighty marchers, and booming balloons are returning in full force.

Macy's shared behind-the-scenes shots of rehearsals for the 96th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Macy's shared behind-the-scenes shots of rehearsals for the 96th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.  © Collage: Instagram/macys

Grab your cozies and someone you love, it's time for the Turkey Day hurrah!

The annual big parade will shine once again in New York City on Thursday morning and be broadcast live on NBC. And its 96th installment is shaping up to be its most fabulous yet, with lots of new arrivals.

As last year's event saw a tentative return from the pandemic with toned-down crowds gathering to watch throughout Manhattan, this year expects both participants and spectators back in all their glory.

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2022 will see four brand-new balloons and five new floats alongside 12 marching bands and 25 performers, including Broadway shows and pop stars alike.

And this year, Mariah Carey, the Queen of Christmas herself, will usher in Santa Claus' big finale by – of course – singing her holiday classic, All I Want for Christmas Is You.

"My childhood dream is coming to life! I'm going to be opening for the one and only, SANTA CLAUS at this year’s @macys Thanksgiving day parade!" Carey wrote on Instagram earlier this week.

Influencers gave behind-the-scenes peaks at parade rehearsals on Monday and Tuesday, with singers and dancers bundled up in the cold to practice sets for their TV performance spot: directly in front of Macy's on 34th Street, where the parade finishes.

It's shown off just some of the newbies who will be marching their way into the spotlight and soaring high in the sky this year.

What's new at this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Performers including the cast of Funny Girl and stars Sarah Hyland and Betty Who (r.) posted photos from rehearsals for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Performers including the cast of Funny Girl and stars Sarah Hyland and Betty Who (r.) posted photos from rehearsals for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  © Collage: Instagram/funnygirlbwy & bettywho

What's new and popping – hopefully not literally – at this year's Macy's Parade? A whole lot!

While last year's balloons saw the debut of Baby Yoda and a new Pikachu, this year will have viewers floating on air – especially the kiddos.

The newcomers include pup Bluey, a new edition of Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dino and Baby Dino, and Stuart the Minion.

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Kim Kardashian Kim Kardashian and Tristan Thompson host "inspiring" Friendsgiving feast

The lineup of new floats features Geoffrey's Dazzling Dance Party by Toys "R" Us, Baby Shark by Pinkfong and Nickelodeon, and Supersized Slumber by Netflix, which with promote the streamer's upcoming movie Slumberland.

Besides Queen Carey, music stars performing include Paula Abdul, Jordin Sparks, Betty Who, Dionne Warwick, Big Time Rush, Joss Stone, Gloria Estefan, Sean Paul, and Fitz and the Tantrums.

Newly instated Broadway leading lady Lea Michele will get in on the action with the cast of Funny Girl, while shows like The Lion King and A Beautiful Noise will also be highlighted along with holiday fan-favorites, the Radio City Rockettes.

The fun will only continue with dance troops, marching bands, clowns, and the Big Apple Circus charging down NYC streets.

For those in person, there will be 2.5 miles of public viewing areas alongside the parade route, which runs from West 77th Street and Central Park West to West 34th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues at Macy's Herald Square.

Those who want to watch warm and cuddled up on the couch at home can tune in to NBC starting at 9 AM EST or streaming on the Peacock app – and then enjoy the National Dog Show directly afterwards.

Cover photo: Collage: Instagram/macys

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