Macy’s 85th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade

My friend Jolie’s daughter, Daniella, 16, got to see the Macy’s 85th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade from an amazing vantage point on West 36th Street and Sixth Avenue. Another friend, Sherri, provided Jolie, Daniella and their family with a bird’s eye view of the parade from her office, on West 36th Street and Sixth Avenue. Wanting to really get the full effect of the parade, Daniella and her sister, Maya, 12, decided to watch the parade from the street level instead. Armed with orange VIP passes, the girls were able to get super close to the festivities whereas the rest of the public–throngs of people from around the nation–waited in a designated area two blocks uptown.  The morning started out with a feast of bagels, muffins and all the fixins at Sherri’s office. Daniella and Maya then headed downstairs to Sixth Avenue to take in all of the color.

The parade officially starts at 9am, from West 77th Street and Central Park West, and arrives at Macy’s–West 34th Street and Seventh Avenue by about 10am.

A message of hope was the parade's underlying theme.

Following are Daniella’s thoughts and perspectives on the parade:

“It was definitely cold but super fun—well worth the wait! My brother kept going in and out of Sherri’s office building, but my sister and I were outside the whole time; we just wanted to see all of the colors and textures and celebrities up close.”


“I liked so many of the floats—they are so colorful and the details are amazing. Waiting and watching on the sidelines is non-stop action; they just keep coming!”

  • My #1 was Mickey Mouse because I’ve just always liked him

    Mickey Mouse was Daniella's favorite balloon


  • Spiderman balloon was ginormous
  • Snoopy balloon is another one of my favorites, as was the Charlie Brown float
  • Sesame Street float was great: all of the favorite characters==Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover, Oscar the Grouch

    Kermit The Frog Makes His Way Down Sixth Avenue


  • Nickelodeon: Dora, Winnie the Pooh and Scooby Doo
  • Marching bands: I don’t love marching bands, but had a bit of a personal connection to one in this year’s parade, Spirit of America. The day before, Maya and I went to see Justin Bieber in a few locations around New York City. We met a mom whose daughter was going to be in the parade in the Spirit of America so it was pretty cool to actually see them perform. They have great energy and are so talented.
  • Just hanging out on the sidelines, performers, like clowns and others, would walk over and start talking to us or give a high five–there was a silly fireman/clown guy who did that.
  • Spiderman, Bigger Than Life


    Kung Fu Panda Flying High

    Mr. Potato Head and Friends

    Thanks to Daniella and Maya for sharing their thoughts and photos, too!

I watched much of the parade on TV and thought The Blue Sky feature was really innovative. Now in its third year, each year The Blue Sky features a humongous helium balloon showcasing the work of some of the world’s most influential and creative artists. This year, it was Tim Burton’s “B”--a bit edgy for the wholesome Macy’s parade, which made it pop even more.

More great photos.


About The Playtime Mom

Unofficial NYC ambassador, play advocate, toy and youth entertainment industry insider and mom
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