Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2012: Route, Balloons, Time and Prep-Night Before Event

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Route
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Route Macy's

Thanksgiving is a time to get together with friends and family and feast over turkey and lots of stuffing. But, it also marks Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Over 3.5 million people will line the streets of Manhattan to see the parade and about 50 million people are expected to watch on TV.

The parade is free and no tickets are required. 

The parade will be viewable along 2.5 miles. It kicks off at 9 a.m. at 77th Street and Central Park West. Then, the parade turns at Columbus Circle onto Central Park South, and veers south onto Sixth Avenue and marches from 59th Street to 34th Street.

The parade will end in front of Macy's Herald Square. 

Macy's warns parade watchers to avoid viewing the parade from Sixth Avenue between 34th and 38th Streets and Macy's Herald Square because of national television broadcast limitations.

Performers and Balloons

The parade will feature performances from Mannheim Steamroller, Spirit of America Dance, Stagedoor Manor and Varsity Spirit Cheer.

Balloons for Hello Kitty, Kermit the Frog, Spider Man, Spongebob Squarepants, Kung Fu Panda, Pikachu, Ronald McDonald and a host of other memorable characters are expected to be present along the parade route. For the complete list, click here.

The parade will broadcast live on NBC from 9 a.m. to noon. 

If you can't wait until Thursday to see the parade, you can certainly check out the preparation the night before.

Macy's Giant Balloon Inflation will take place from 3 to 10 p.m. Viewers can enter the "special" balloon inflation areas surrounding the Museum of Natural History beginning at 79th Street and Columbus Avenue. 

What do you think?