The Macy's Singing Christmas Tree is a float from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The float features over 125 Macy's employees from across the nation performing Christmas carols as the float travels down the Parade route.
History with the Macy's Parade
In 2017, the creative team behind Macy's Special Events wanted to create something special before Santa Claus made his entrance on 34th Street. The finalized idea was a musical presentation to escort Santa into the Miracle on 34th Street, with the help of over 125 Macy's employees from across the United States.
When long-time Parade partner, Delta Air Lines, caught wind of the new idea, the company insisted to fly the employees to New York City, and Macy's agreed. As a result, the companies would serve as the float's sponsors.
Throughout August 2017, designs of the Singing Christmas Tree float were sketched by veteran Parade designer, Joel Naprstek. By the end of September, the finalized float design was complete, and construction began shortly thereafter. The design of the float featured a diverse group of Macy's employees populating and singing on a random, non-formal looking living Christmas tree. The tree topper for the three-story high float was a twinkling red star.
Escorting the float en route to 34th Street, many of the Macy's employees wheeled larger-than-life presents down the street, while others carried signs proclaiming "All Together Now", "Sing Along, Everybody", among other phrases.
When the float arrived on 34th Street for the very first time, the Macy's Singing Christmas Tree choir performed an original Christmas song, "Together At Christmas", composed by the Parade's musical director, Wesley Whatley, VP Creative Producer, and Judith Clurman. The employees riding on the float held cardboard shapes of stars, bells, and more, to emulate a decorated Christmas tree. The Singing Christmas Tree proved to be the result of a combination of design, logistics, engineering, and musical genius – all made possible by Macy’s colleagues.
In 2018, the Macy's Singing Christmas Tree float went under a slight refurbishment to bring more magic and whimsy to the float. Paul Lopacinski, Senior Manager of Creative Production, was the perfect person to make this happen. Paul, along with the talented team at the Parade Studio, brought a number of new, exciting float elements to life.
The over 30-foot-tall float was covered from top-to-bottom in textured greenery and sparkling lights for a sophisticated look. The drum of the tree was dressed in gold ribbon fringe that danced elegantly as the float made its way down the Parade route. Outlined in lights and completely encrusted in glitter, a red star tree topper completed the look.
The float and was not the only element to be upgraded, however. To help with the clothing that the 125-piece choir would wear, a partnership with Charter Club and Club Room, Macy’s Private Brands, was created. Pieces from the fall collections of both brands that incorporated red, black and white color palette were selected. The Club Room snowflake sweater in red was made custom for the singing tree and was available in stores, but in blue.
The float's 2018 performance was nothing short of incredible. The singers, who came together for the first time just days before Parade, created one voice, and performed another original Christmas song, "We Believe In The Wonder of Giving".
In 2019, Macy's would that, once again, the Singing Christmas Tree would return to the line of march, now with an all-new look. Designers for Macy's crafted personalized sweaters for all choir members, now baring a color palette of black, red, and green. Additionally, more than 18,000 choreographed lights were added to the float's greenery, controlled by an animator inside the tree.
For the float's third 34th Street performance, the choir would perform another original Christmas carol, entitled "The Holidays Are Here", coinciding with the new Macy's holiday campaign of the same name.
Due to the ongoing 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic, the Macy's SInging Christmas Tree went virtual for the Parade's re-imagined telecast. Choir members was invited back to perform "We Believe", the song produced for the choir in 2018, with a total of 65 choir members from 15 states.