The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924 and today attracts over 3 million live viewers and 44 million television viewers yearly. Every year I say we will go next year, so I am ready with some ideas to make the best of it, when we finally make it there. Here is Everything You Need to Know to Attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the help of a yearly spectator, my friend Laura Rodriguez
The parade takes place on Thanksgiving Day and starts at 9am, going down Central Park West from 77th Street onto Columbus Circle, along Central Park South, onto 6th Avenue and onto 34th Street, ending at Macy’s Herald Square. For the best viewing spot, you need to get there a couple hours before the start of the parade. Depending on where you are, will determine how long you will be outside. For instance, if you are at the start of the parade route, the parade will last about 90 minutes but if you are closer to the end of the route, it will last about 3 hours. Laura shares that the floats are so big that even if you don’t get there early to be in the front lines, you are sure to enjoy it all, so keep cool and chill if you don’t.
The best way to get to the parade is via public transit. Street parking is free but you more than likely won’t find a spot. Also, while parking garages are open, you can expect to pay about $50 to park in one of them. Not to mention the fact that several roads are closed for the parade.
What to wear
It is important that you dress warm since November in NYC is usually rather cold. Dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. Try not to bring too many things, so you can have your hands free at all times. It is also not a bad idea to make it a point to enjoy some hot chocolate to keep you warm. 🙂
Best Watching Spots
There are several spots that are good for parade viewing. One of the best spots is near the start of the parade, on the Upper West Side. Columbus Circle is another good spot for parade watching. You are unlikely to find a spot anywhere close to Macy’s. Not all streets are open for parade viewing on both sides. For instance, on Central Park West, you can only stand on the west side of the street while 6th venue is viewable from both sides of the street.
Laura also enjoys the music very much and she loves that school bands are included. ” The school bands really lift my spirits!” is her last point on the parade as she is all smiles. Her last tip is not to leave early, so you can see Santa float by!
Have you ever been to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? If you haven’t, have you considered going?