Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade By the Numbers and Fun Facts

  • By Virtual NYC Office
  • 16 Nov, 2017

AMERICA’S PARADE - BY THE NUMBERS: FUN FACTS FOR THE 91ST ANNUAL MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE®

Image Photo Credit: Macy's Inc
Every year the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® marks the official start of the holiday season. Following is a handy run-down of the Parade “by the numbers” for Thursday, November 23, 2017:

OVERVIEW :
  • Years of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – 91 (est. 1924) o Note : The Parade was canceled in 1942, 1943 and 1944 due to World War II. Parade Route Spectators – 3.5 Million
  • Parade Route Length – 2.5 miles (77th & Central Park West south to 34th Street-Herald Square)
  • Participants - 8,000+ including Macy’s employees and their friends & families, celebrities, recording artists, athletes, Broadway performers, marching bands, clowns, dancers, cheerleaders and other performance groups 

BALLOONS
:
  • Giant Character Helium Balloons – 17 
  • Heritage Balloons – 27 in total including the recreated Harold the Baseball Player (circa 1946) and later seen in the Twentieth Century Fox Film, “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) 
  • Balloonicle (Macy’s Parade innovation of hybrid cold air balloon and vehicle) – 1, The Aflac Duck 
  • New Character Balloons – 4 (Disney Frozen’s Olaf, Illumination’s presents Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, PAW Patrol® and Jett from Super Wings™)  o To date, there have been 178 different characters featured as a giant balloon in the Parade since 1927. 
  • Height of Tallest Balloon – 60 feet (Disney Frozen’s Olaf) 
  • Length of Longest Balloon – 77 feet (Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger)
  • Width of Widest Balloon – 39 feet (Jett from Super Wings™) 
  • Balloon Handlers – 2000 (90 handlers on average per balloon)

FLOATS
:
  • Floats – 26, comprised of hundreds of different set pieces and other structural elements 
  • New Floats Making 2017 Debut – 6 (Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s®, Harvest in the Valley by Green Giant®, Parade Day Mischief by SOUR PATCH KIDS®, Shimmer and Shine by Nickelodeon, Universal Playground by Sprout® and Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree by Delta Air Lines) 
  • Length and Height of Largest Float – 60 feet long and 3.5 stories tall (Santa’s Sleigh)
  • Float Escorts – 400

THE BROADCAST
:
  • Television Viewers – More than 50 Million, one of the country’s most viewed televised events 
  • Hours of Live Television – 3 (9am-noon EST) 
  • Years on NBC, official national broadcast partner – 65 (since 1952) 
  • NBC TODAY Show anchors as host of the Parade: 
   o 2017 marks Matt Lauer’s 20th year (since 1998)
   o 2017 marks Savannah Guthrie’s 6th year (since 2012)
   o 2017 marks Al Roker’s 23rd year (since 1995)

ENTERTAINMENT, PERSONALITIES & PERFORMERS :
  • Marching Bands - 12 bands spanning approximately 2585 members in total
  • Performance Groups – 6 groups including 550 cheerleaders and 550 dancers from all over the country
  • Radio City Rockettes® – An annual favorite, they first performed in the 1957 Parade 
  • Broadway musicals – 4, the long-standing relationship with Broadway shows to showcase performances dates back to 1977 
  • Choral Singers (Macy’s own) - 175 
  • Clowns – 1,000 
  • Clown Stilt Walker Units - 12 
  • Santa Claus – the ONE and ONLY in his famed Parade finale appearance 
   o Santa Claus has closed the Macy’s Parade every year with the exception of 1933, the only year in which he led the official Parade march

BEHIND-THE-SCENES MAGIC BY THE MACY’S PARADE STUDIO TEAM :
  • Hours of Labor from the Parade Studio team of approximately 27 painters, carpenters, animators, sculptors, welders, scenic/costume designers, electricians and engineers – 50,000+ 
  • Square Footage of the Parade Studio’s Moonachie, NJ headquarters – 72,000 
  • Length of Tubular Steel – nearly ½ mile for creation of the Macy’s Singing Tree, and the most steel ever sourced for a Macy’s Parade float 
  • Gallons of Paint – 240 
  • Pounds of Reusable Molding Clay – 400 
  • Pounds of Glitter – 300 
  • Paint Brushes – 75 fine art brushes + 300 additional types of brushes 
  • Costumes – 4200 
  • Make-Up Artists for Clowns – 90 
  • Banner Carriers – 95 
Source Credit: Macy's Inc

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