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How to watch the 2018 Thanksgiving Day parade

Fans brave cold to watch Thanksgiving parade
Millions brave frigid temperatures to watch annual Thanksgiving Day parade 02:05

Like turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual tradition for many families. The 92nd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 a.m. ET this Thursday.

More: How much do parade balloons and floats cost?

How to watch the 2018 Thanksgiving Day parade

Parade route

The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade through Midtown Manhattan starts on the west side of central park near the American Museum of Natural History and progresses down Central Park West and 6th Avenues toward Macy's flagship store in Herald Square. The map below shows the parade route.


Official parade route: From West 77th Street & Central Park West, the parade marches south along Central Park West to Columbus Circle. From there, it travels east two blocks along Central Parth South (59th Street) to 6th Avenue where it again heads south toward Herald Square. The parade turns west on 34th Street and finishes in front of Macy's Herald Square.

Thanksgiving Day parade bands and performers

The list of stars performing atop the parade floats this year include: Ally Brooke, Anika Noni Rose and the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Ashley Tisdale, Bad Bunny, Barenaked Ladies, Bazzi, Brynn Cartelli, Carly Pearce, Diana Ross and Family, Ella Mai, Jack and Jack, John Legend, Kane Brown, Leona Lewis, Mackenzie Ziegler and Johnny Orlando, Martina McBride, Pentatonix, Rita Ora, Sugarland and Tegan Marie.

Twelve marching bands and several dance groups from across the country will be marching in this year's Thanksgiving Day parade. A mix of six high school bands, three college bands and other troupes will be performing. The NYPD Marching band, made up of active police officers, will also be marching.

2018 Thanksgiving parade floats

The Fantasy Chocolate Factory float is new to the parade this year. The Kinder-sponsored float features a Ferris wheel-powered chocolate factory that would give Willy Wonka a run for his money. Other new floats include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Santa's Saint Bernards, and a newly designed annual favorite of the longest-running float, Tom Turkey.

Sesame Street, Ronald McDonald's red shoe, the Girl Scouts and Build-A-Bear are some of the floats returning to the parade this year.

Parade weather in New York City

This year might be the coldest Thanksgiving on record in New York City. The National Weather Service forecast is calling for temperatures in the 20s with high winds gusting up to 35 mph. If that forecast stays true, it may dampen the celebration, as the parade balloons in are not allowed to fly if the wind gusts are more than 35 mph. The Thanksgiving Day parade balloons were last grounded in 1971.

Update: 9 a.m.: CBS New York's chief weather forecaster, Lonnie Quinn, said he did not believe the winds will likely not ground the balloons.

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