There's nothing like Thanksgiving Day in New York City, and that's thanks in large part to the one and only Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which celebrates its 92nd anniversary when it steps off at 9am on Thursday, November 22.
We've got the scoop on all the new faces joining the parade lineup in 2018, in addition to our tried-and-true tips on how to catch the balloons coming to life the night before, and where to stake out your prime viewing spot for the main event. Read on to meet the new stars of the show.
Goku from Dragon Ball Super: Broly
The lone giant balloon to debut this year, Goku is the hero of Dragon Ball, a Japanese animation franchise making its North American theatrical debut in early 2019. Sent to Earth on a mission to destroy the planet, Goku suffered a brain injury and transformed into one of the good guys. Goku checks in at 56 feet tall.
Fleck, Bjorn, Jojo and Hugg bring Christmas Magic to the parade.
Fleck, Bjorn, Jojo and Hugg
These novelty-sized balloons represent Netflix's Christmas special, The Christmas Chronicles. Each balloon is 20 feet wide by 30 feet tall and brings plenty of can-do Christmas magic to the route, as each has a special job to do to help Santa deliver all his Christmas magic.
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Macy's Blue Sky Gallery brings Little Cloud, a rainbow and raindrops to the parade.
Little Cloud by FriendsWithYou
Artists Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III are the latest in a line of well-known contemporary artists who have teamed with the Macy's Blue Sky Gallery to bring their art work to life in balloon form. Little Cloud will be joined en route by an inflatable rainbow and raindrops. Past collaborations have featured artists such as Tom Otterness, Keith Haring and more.
The Nutcracker from Universal Orlando Resort
The Florida sun wasn't enough to keep this balloon down south. After debuting at the 2017 Universal Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s at Universal Studios Orlando, Broadway beckoned and The Nutcracker headed north to join the real Macy's lineup.
Sunny the Snowpal
A character of Macy's own making, Sunny the Snowpal will be the star of the store's 2018 holiday campaign, but first she must float down the parade route to get there, saving the sleigh and Christmas along her way.
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Go Bowling, the world's longest bowling alley, will transform the Manhattan streets into a blocks-long bowling game.
These balloonicles will have the world's longest bowling alley, transforming the Manhattan streets into a blocks-long bowling game as bowling pins try to avoid being knocked down by the bowling ball trailing them from behind. Imagine how much the 12-foot-in-diameter-ball would weigh if it weren't simply helium filled.
Sinclair Oil's Baby Dinos
Joining the trademark big DINO, who will float above, are three apatosaurus ballonicles. Barely hatched, they're fresh from the nest in all their prehistoric cuteness.
This endearing Elf on Shelf float brings extra Christmas cheer to NYC's favorite annual parade.
Elf Pets by The Elf on the Shelf
Joining the floating Elf on the Shelf balloon, these St. Bernard's and reindeer are the stars of a holiday special (and of this new float), bringing the message that the spirit of Christmas is found in faith, hope, and love.
Kinder chocolate brings a fantasy scene to life with gears and gondolas working to deliver sweet memories.
Fantasy Chocolate Factory by Kinder
What Christmas is complete without some sweet treats? The folks at Kinder bring a fantasy scene to life with gears and gondolas working to deliver chocolate for all the sweet memories waiting to be made this season.
The Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles float gives parade goers a glimpse into the secret lair of these crime-fighting heroes in a half shell.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Everything old is new again, as the current iteration of TMNT takes to the streets, rising from the sewers to save the city. The float gives parade goers a glimpse into the secret lair of these crime-fighting heroes in a half shell.
An enchanting jungle scene comes to life on the Splashing Safari Adventure float by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions.
Splashing Safari Adventure by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions
An enchanting jungle scene comes to life with exotic animals big and small surrounding a glistening river. Hope the elephant turns your way and gives you a confetti shower as he passes.
Many old favorites return, too, including a made-over Tom Turkey, who now runs under his own power and will again lead the parade. Last year's debut balloons, Frozen's Olaf and Chase from Paw Patrol, will fly again, along with long-time favorites Charlie Brown, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the Pillsbury Doughboy. All told, there will be 16 giant balloons, 43 smaller balloons, ranging from ballonicles to Macy's trademark stars, and 26 floats. More than 8,000 participants provide the entertainment, keep the balloons afloat, and traverse the route on floats, while 3.5 million spectators line the route and more than 50 million watch on TV.
Renderings Courtesy of Macy's Inc.