The 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Millions of people across the nation will kick off the holiday season by tuning into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be broadcast on NBC on Thursday, Nov. 27, from 9:00 a.m. till noon. Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie, of the Today Show, will be anchors at the event.

This award-winning parade is seen by more than 3.5 million people in New York and 50 million at home, according to the parade’s website. People tune in on television and fill the streets of NYC to watch the balloons, floats, balloonicles, clowns, marching bands and musical celebrity performances during the two-and-a-half-mile march down the streets of Manhattan.

“Normally I go for the Charlie Brown float,” said Michael Orimolade, a sophomore from The Bronx, New York, studying sports medicine. “But I don’t know; it’s about togetherness, I guess. I like going with my family. It’s pretty cool for my sister as well — my younger sister likes it.”

Millions of New Yorkers gather on the streets of Manhattan to enjoy the parade in person with their families and friends. Gabe Darger, a freshman from Scarsdale, New York, studying business, has a tradition of watching the parade with his family and members of his home ward. His father sets up planks along the street for them to watch together.

“A huge thing at our house is my dad would always go, and he sets up two ladders, and you put a plank across,” Darger said. “People would go really early, but we would never go that early. We used to bring a couple families in our ward with us and all sit on the planks.”

The parade began in 1924 and was originally known as the Macy’s Christmas Day Parade, although it was held on Thanksgiving. It was created by Macy’s employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. The parade now ends with Christmas-themed floats and balloons to welcome in the next holiday. The floats include Santa’s Sleigh, the largest float of the parade, and Elf on the Shelf, the tallest balloon of the parade, both of which are featured in the parade every year.

“I like the Christmas ones because I feel like it’s ushering out Thanksgiving and welcoming in Christmas,” said Kendall Blake, a junior from Park City studying recreation management.

Marching bands from across the country will perform at the parade. The American Fork High School band will be performing the Can Can on Herald Square, led by band director John Miller.

This year’s celebrity musical performances will include Taylor Swift, Idina Menzel, Megan Trainor, Hilary Duff, Nick Jonas, KISS, Cole Swindell, MKTO, The Madden Brothers, Lucy Hale, Sabrina Carpenter, NEEDTOBREATHE, Romeo Santos, The Vamps, Cirque du Soleil, the cast of “Sesame Street” and more.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day website describes the parade the perfect way. “It’s not just a parade marching down an avenue; it is a march through tradition, history and popular culture.”

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