The 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will kick off the 2012 holiday season with two miles of balloons, floats, falloons and celebrity-carrying balloonicles on Thursday morning and contrary to what some may say, parade day isn’t just for tourists who don’t know any better.
There really is nothing quite like freezing your butt off with a crowd of millions in the greatest city in the world.If you can’t appreciate that, turn on NBC at around 9 a.m. But if you can, listen up.
The Thanksgiving Day parade route is as follows: Starts at 77th Street & Central Park West, Heads to Columbus Circle at 59th Street, Turns east along Central Park South, Turns south onto 6th Avenue and finishes in front of Macy’s Herald Square at 34th Street.
New floats for this year include the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish float, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sprout, Domino Sugar and Gibson Guitars.
Three new balloons will also debut this year: Hello Kitty, Papa Smurf and Elf on the Shelf.
Performers include Carly Rae Jepsen, Flo Rida, Karmin, Don McLean and Jimmy Fallon and the Roots.
Public viewing areas are located at Central Park West on the West side of the street from from 70th Street to Columbus Circle & east side of street from 70th to 65th; Columbus Circle on the west side of street; 6th Avenue between 58th & 34th Streets; 34th Street on the south side of the street between Broadway & 7th Avenue.
For those who want to see the balloons get blown up the night before:
On Thanksgiving Eve, the blowing-up viewing entrance (77th Street and Columbus Avenue) opens at 3 p.m. and the balloons start getting inflated around 4 p.m. on 77thand 81st Streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.
Most should be blown up by 8 p.m., but will remain on view until 10 p.m. But the viewing entrance closes at 9 p.m., so if you want to take your chances coming late, make sure you don’t get there too late.
If you aren’t a master of shortcuts and city navigation, the best parking spot is probably the one at your local train station. The B and C trains will take you to 81st Street, or the 1 train to Broadway and West 79th Street, only a few blocks away.
And, of course, the earlier you get there the better.
Good luck, have a happy Thanksgiving—and now excuse us while we go squeeze our jellied cranberry sauce out of the can.