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Following last year’s crowd-less event, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is back in full force for 2021. The department store’s 95th celebration takes place Thursday, Nov. 25, in New York City, where it will retrace its traditional 2.5-mile route through Manhattan, from the Upper West Side to Midtown.
This year, pop culture franchises, brands and corporations will once again get their names in front of live spectators, as the public is being welcomed back to watch the parade’s over-the-top floats, balloons and live performances from the streets. Macy’s is also getting in on the NFT action and auctioning off 10 pieces of digital art inspired by inflatable floats of decades past, with all proceeds benefitting the Make-A-Wish foundation.
But you don’t have to be in the Big Apple to witness the fall holiday festivities. Read on for details on how to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade online (as well as where to see it in person), the entertainment highlights and more.
When Is the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
The 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 9 a.m. ET on Nov. 25 in New York and ends at noon ET. It will air on NBC from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in all time zones on local TV stations.
Who Is Performing at the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
There will be over 35 live performers at this year’s parade, including Grammy-nominated musician Jon Baptiste (on the Louisiana Office of Tourism’s float), Foreigner (on New York Life’s float), Hollywood actor Darren Criss (on Kinder’s Fantasy Chocolate Factory float), Andy Grammer (on Entenmann’s float), K-pop group Aespa (on Olay’s Her Future is STEM-Sational float), the real-life stars of fictional girl group Girls5eva (on Peacock’s float, naturally), Jimmie Allen (on Green Giant’s float), Kelly Rowland (on Lifetime’s Christmas in Town Square float) and Kim Petras (on Coach’s float), to name just a few.
The Macy’s Great American Marching Band will perform, and other marching bands include the all-female Ann Richards Marching Stars, the NYPD, and groups from high schools and universities across the U.S.
Also on the entertainment roster are the Big Apple Circus, Ballet Hispánico, Spirit of America Dance Stars, wandering clowns and more; see the complete lineup here.
How to Watch the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Person
The 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 a.m. ET in Manhattan at West 77h Street and Central Park West, but only select stops will have public viewing areas. The west side of Central Park West from West 7th to West 6th streets will have a spectator area available starting at 6 a.m. ET, and it’s one of the best places to watch the parade. See the entire route and get more details here.
How to Stream the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Online
If you don’t have cable, you can watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade online on your smart TV, smartphone, tablet or another device with a subscription to select on-demand video streaming platforms with access to NBC. Those without a smart TV can use a plug-in device (such as the Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV or Roku) that lets you stream live TV and watch on-demand content.
For those who haven’t yet subscribed to a streaming platform, or are looking to switch it up, here are a few options that let you watch NBC:
- DirectTV Stream Previously AT&T TV, the satellite network now offers online TV and on-demand content, and you can watch NBC and more than 65 other channels under its Entertainment package ($70 monthly); other plans offer over 90 to 140 channels, with prices ranging from $84 to $140 per month. Sign up for DirecTV Stream starting at $70/month here.
- Fubo Starting at $65 per month, Fubo has a range of plans that offer NBC and a minimum of 115 other channels, including most of the popular news, entertainment, lifestyle and sports networks. Sign up for Fubo starting at $65/month here (seven-day free trial included).
- Hulu with Live TV Get a free seven-day trial for the on-demand video streaming platform with Live TV, then pay $65 per month after that. Hulu’s Live TV subscription lets you watch major cable news (including NBC), entertainment and sports channels and networks, and you can also record content in addition to watching movies and TV shows on demand. You can bundle your plan with Disney+ and ESPN+ ($75 per month), and add on channels such as Cinemax, HBO Max, Showtime, Starz and more for an additional monthly fee. Sign up for Hulu starting at $65/month here (seven-day free trial included).
- Peacock NBCUniversal-owned Peacock’s Premium service normally starts at $5 per month and gives access to NBC, Peacock movies and TV shows and more, but they’re offering a 50 percent off deal for your first six months. Upgrade to the Premium Plus plan ($10 monthly) for an ad-free experience. Sign up for Peacock for half off your first six months here.
- Sling TV For a limited time, get your first month of on-demand streaming for $10 (individual Orange and Blue plans) or $20 (Orange & Blue service), then pay $35 or $50 monthly after that. The Blue and Orange & Blue plans let you watch NBC and more than 40 other local broadcast channels, and you can record up to 50 hours of content and stream on up to three devices. Sign up for Sling TV starting at $20/month here.
- YouTube TV For a limited time, get your first month for $15, then pay $65 monthly. You’ll get access to over 85 news, entertainment and sports channels on the video platform’s live streaming service, plus get unlimited recording storage and access for six accounts. Sign up for YouTube TV starting at $65/month here.
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