Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is an American water park resort chain with locations in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Sandusky, Ohio; Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania; and in Round Rock, Texas. The company is said to deliver a “world-away” waterpark resort and conference experience beyond expectations. The authentically African-themed Kalahari Resorts, privately owned by the Nelson family, is home to America’s largest indoor waterparks. All Kalahari Resorts feature well-appointed guest rooms, full-service Spa Kalahari, a fully equipped fitness center, on-site restaurants, unique retail shops and a state-of-the-art conference center.
History with the Macy's Parade
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions made their Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade debut in the 2018 Parade, with a float titled "Splashing Safari Adventure". The company's float would be announced that July, promoting the then-upcoming fourth Kalahari resort in Round Rock, Texas. Designed and crafted by the artisans and magicians at the Macy's Parade Studio, updates on the float's construction were posted across Kalahari's many social media accounts, using the hashtag #KalahariOnParade.
Jordan Dabby, vice-president partnership marketing for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, shared Macy's excitement of the float's inclusion. “This year, with the addition of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, our audience will be transported to Africa through colorful and imaginative scenes depicting both animals native to the continent and Kalahari family fun. This special float is undoubtedly one of a kind and will delight our audience on Thanksgiving Day." Dabby said.
The "Splashing Safari Adventure" float depicts a wondrous scene where the spirit of community, fun and connection with the earth is at the heart of a colorful gathering of inhabitants. At the centerpiece of the design is an animated 12-foot wide head of an African elephant with its iconic ears converging with other animals at the watering hole. Rendered in abstract form and creating a mosaic inspired by the art of African cultures, such as bold patterned wooden masks, the animals and trees on the float, merge into a stylized landscape that showcases the marvel and majesty of the African continent and its human companions who together enjoy a relaxing and fun day at the lazy river.
The Splashing Safari Adventure float made its final appearance in the reimagined 2020 Parade, and was retired shortly after the procession.
Following the previous float's retirement, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions would once again partner with Macy's to debut an all-new float for the 2021 Macy's Parade, titled "Colossal Wave of Wonder." The float is said to be inspired by moments that make family memories at America's Largest Indoor Waterpark Resorts. Akin to the previous float, Kalahari shared updates on the float's construction across their social media accounts with the hashtag, #KalahariOnParade.
The new float captures a family of elephants in the water at the moment of excited anticipation as a wave crests before the adventure of descent. With a sky-high burst of glitter from her trunk, the majestic momma and bubble-blowing baby elephants ride the Colossal Wave of Wonder alongside a surfing rhino and swimming octopus. Lively lighting creates a rippling water look in this fun-filled scene. Inspired by a family trip to Africa, the magic and beauty of the continent is brought to life with the colorful animals and a float skirt showcasing an original design by renowned South-African artist Karabo Poppy.
Listed below are the guest stars that have performed/appeared on the float, alongside the respective songs which they sang during the NBC Telecast.
Splashing Safari Adventure
- 2018 - Ella Mai, sang "Boo'd Up"
- 2019 - TLC, sang "No Scrubs" and "Waterfalls"
- 2020 - AJR, sang "Bang!"
Colossal Wave of Wonder
- 2021 - Nelly, will sing "Lil Bit"
- Jordin Sparks was originally slated to appear on the float in the 2020 Parade, performing "Merry Christmas to Your Face". However, AJR would replace her only a day before the event's filming began.