WASHINGTON, November 21, 2012 ― Thanksgiving for a lot of Americans is the annual trio of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, turkey, and some popular gridiron contests, including this year’s NFL matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys.
The 86th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will take to the streets of New York City on Thanksgiving Day at 9:00am. Macy’s promises “a cornucopia of whimsical treats for the whole family” to start your Thanksgiving celebrations.
The “Today Show’s” Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker will host this annual tradition for families from sea to shining sea. Jimmy Fallon and the Roots promise to be a big draw for fans on the parade route and watching from home.
Some of the other celebrities joining the festivities, waving from floats, singing songs, dancing, and just adding smiles to the event, include:
Big Apple Circus
Chica and the gang from Sprout
Carly Rae Jepsen
Megan & Liz; Miss USA 2012
The Muppets and cast of Sesame Street
Power Rangers Megaforce
U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber
Food Network’s Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian.
Parade performances from Broadway’s best musicals, including “Annie,” “Bring It On,” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” “Elf,” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” will offer glimpses into New York’s Great White Way.
In addition, the world-famous Radio City Rockettes® will join the presentation to help kick-off the holidays.
One of my favorite parts of the parade are the young people from all over the US who march in bands, twirl batons and share their spirit. You can’t help but think about the all the practice and preparation they’ve devoted to this event, and the excitement those young people feel at being among the few who get to march in this holiday kickoff.
This year I will be looking for Abby Engel, Audrey Gray and Abbey Leach, seniors at Frankenmuth High School where they are captains of the cheerleading squad. These young ladies will be among 650 cheerleaders who have the honor of starting off the parade. They’ll start from in front of the Macy’s Herald Square store.
The three young women were invited to participate in the parade after attending a Universal Cheerleaders Association camp last summer at Michigan State University. Michigan Live reports that they were chosen by Universal Cheerleaders Association and Spirit of America Productions, organizers of the Varsity Spirit Cheer team that opens the parade.
“We’ve been practicing since mid-August,” Leach told reporter Emily Pfund of Michigan Live. “It’s not a hard routine, it was just hard to learn because it’s so long,” Engel added.
Bringing some northern Michigan heart and helping hands, the cheerleaders come to New York with the victims of Hurricane Sandy in mind. They’ve brought items such as gloves, face masks, dish towels and gift cards to help with relief efforts.
After kicking off the event, Abby Engel, Audrey Gray and Abbey Leach will rush to the end of the parade in order to escort Santa Claus along the 2.5-mile course.
Parade watchers can catch the parade on official sponsor NBC beginning at 9:00 am EST, as well as on CBS.
NBC and Macy’s will also be live streaming the parade.
You can keep up to date on the parade events by following Macy’s Events (@MacysEvents) on Twitter or by texting PARADE to 62297 from your smart phone. A Macy’s Parade App is also available from Google Play and the iPhone App Store.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Trivia (courtesy of Macy’s):
~ The first parade was in 1924 and featured floats, clowns, bands, and a few zoo animals.
~ The parade was originally called “Macy’s Christmas Parade”
~ In 1927 live animals were replaced with large balloons. The very first balloon was Felix The Cat.
~ The parade route has only changed once, in 1945, from 145th Street and Convent Avenue to the modern day kick off at 77th Street and Central Park West.
~ The parade has been held continuously from 1924, except for 1942-1944 when it was halted due to WWII.
~ The parade’s first national broadcast was on NBC in 1948.
~ This year’s 80th celebration will feature more than 10,000 participants and be viewed by approximately 3.5 million live spectators, with another 50 million watching on television.
Join EntertainUs Editor Terry Ponick and Communities Editor, Jacquie Kubin as we cheer on the balloons, exclaim over the floats and laugh with the lip synching pop stars!
Our chat begins at 8:45 am and we will be here until Sant comes to town!
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