|The 94th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade||The 95th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade||The 96th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade|
The 95th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held on November 25th, 2021, in New York City, and was shown to viewers live on NBC that same day from 9 a.m. to 12 noon EST. It was hosted by Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker. Participating celebrities included Carrie Underwood, Andy Grammer, Foreigner, Jon Batiste, Chris Lane, and Rob Thomas.
Under the giant helium balloons during the 2021 Macy's Parade were the usual 80-100 handlers that helped the nylon giants through the streets of New York - a sight that was not seen in over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also returning were performance groups, marching bands and the 3.5 million spectators that lined the streets of New York City for the first time since 2019. Among them, no word encapsulated the feeling of being back other than thankful.
Debuting as all-new giant balloons were Ada Twist, Scientist of Netflix fame, and Parade veterans Pikachu and Ronald McDonald, both with brand-new designs. The lovable Grogu - better known as Baby Yoda - soared down 34th Street as a massive crowd-pleaser. Joining them was Tiptoe, the first-ever puppet balloon, and Toni, the Bandleader Bear, who paid tribute to the Parade's marching band program.
Jon Batiste, who had been recently nominated for 11 Grammy awards, rode on a 60-foot long alligator courtesy of the Louisisana Department of Tourism. Not far behind, Captain Minnie set sail on the colossal "Magic Meets the Sea" float by Disney Cruise Line, and the cast of Girls5eva strutted their stuff on the glitzy "Birds of a Feather Stream Together" float from streaming service Peacock. Rapper Nelly waved from a float advertising Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, and the HEINZ Gravy Pirates ensured everyone had savory gravy for their Thanksgiving dinner.
Per usual, Santa Claus himself made his annual appearance in the Parade of all Parades. Aboard his colossal emerald and golden sleigh, Jolly Old Saint Nick delighted spectators as he signaled the unofficial start to the holiday season.
Listed below are the Parade elements that appeared in the 2021 line of march. Each element is listed in their respective categories/sub-categories, with sponsors bolded and italicized.
Bold indicates a new Parade element, and an underline indicates an element that was brought back after an absence.
- Ada Twist, Scientist (Netflix) - 1st time
- Red Titan from "Ryan's World" (Sunlight Entertainment and pocket.watch) - 2nd time
- Chase from PAW Patrol (Nickelodeon) - 5th time
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams Books) - 6th time
- The Boss Baby (DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures) - 2nd time
- Sinclair's DINO (Sinclair Oil Corporation) - 7th time
- Goku (Toei Animation Inc.) - 3rd time
- Grogu (Funko and Lucasfilm) - 1st time
- Astronaut Snoopy (Peanuts Worldwide) - 3rd time
- Ronald McDonald (McDonald's) - 1st time
- SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary (Nickelodeon) - 3rd time
- Sonic the Hedgehog (SEGA) - 4th time
- Papa Smurf (IMPS/Nickelodeon) - 4th time
- Pillsbury Doughboy (Pillsbury) - 8th time
- Pikachu & Eevee (The Pokémon Company International) - 1st time
- Smokey Bear (U.S.D.A. Forest Service) - 3rd time
- Santa Starflakes (Universal Orlando Resort) - 1st time
- Opening Macy's Stars (Macy's) - 4th time
- Pumpkins (Macy's) - 8th time
- Acorn (Macy's) - 4th time
- Arrtle the Pirate (Macy's) - 3rd time
- Yellow Macy's Stars (Macy's) - 6th time
- Toni, the Bandleader Bear (Macy's) - 1st time
- Blue & White Macy's Star (Macy's) - 4th time
- Ice Cream Cone (Macy's) - 2nd time
- Blue & White Macy's Star (Macy's) - 4th time
- Happy Hippo (Macy's) - 4th time
- Red & Green Candy Cane (Macy's) - 3rd time
- Snow Crystal Ornaments (Macy's) - 11th time
- Tiptoe (Macy's) - 1st time
- "Believe" Stars (Macy's) - 6th time
- Dishmates (HEINZ) - 1st time
- Baby DINOs (Sinclair Oil Corporation) - 4th time
- Go Bowling (Go Bowling) - 4th time
- Tom Turkey (Macy's) - 4th time
- Harvest in the Valley (Green Giant) - 5th time
- Big Turkey Spectacular (Jennie-O) - 2nd time
- 1-2-3 Sesame Street (Sesame Workshop) - 17th time
- Blue's Clues & You! (Nickelodeon) - 3rd time
- Big City Cheer! (Spirit of America Productions) - 6th time
- Toy House of Marvelous Milestones (New York Life) - 3rd time
- Mount Rushmore's American Pride (South Dakota Department of Tourism) - 12th time
- Rexy in the City (COACH) - 3rd time
- Celebration Gator (Louisiana Office of Tourism) - 1st time
- Her Future Is STEM-Sational (Olay) - 2nd time
- Snoopy's Doghouse (Peanuts Worldwide) - 2nd time
- The Brick-Changer (The LEGO Group) - 3rd time
- Magic Meets the Sea (Disney Cruise Line) - 1st time
- Colossal Wave of Wonder (Kalahari Resorts and Conventions) - 1st time
- Birds of a Feather Stream Together (Peacock) - 1st time
- Winning Winter Together (MassMutual and NHL) - 1st time
- Everyone's Favorite Bake Shop (Entenmann's) - 5th time
- Home Sweet Home (Cracker Barrel Old Country Store) - 3rd time
- Fantasy Chocolate Factory (Kinder) - 3rd time
- Elf Pets (The Lumistella Company) - 3rd time
- Heartwarming Holiday Countdown (Hallmark Channel) - 7th time
- Deck the Halls (Balsam Hill) - 5th time
- Christmas in Town Square (Lifetime) - 2nd time
- Santa Express (Universal Orlando Resort) - 27th time
- Macy's Singing Christmas Tree (Macy's) - 4th time
- Tiptoe's North Pole (Macy's) - 1st time
- Santa's Sleigh (Macy's) - 13th time
- NYPD Highway Patrol Motorcycle Unit - 37th time
- Macy's Starlets - 4th time
- Gravy Pirates (HEINZ) - 1st time
- NYPD Mounted Unit - 94th time
- "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" Banner (Macy's) - 2nd time
- Hanes Banner (Hanes) - 1st time
- NYC Parks Mounted Unit - 38th time
- The First Order from Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge - 1st time
- Ram Trucks Banner (Ram Trucks) - 4th time
- Big Red Shoe Car (McDonald's) - 22nd time
- "Believe" Banner (Macy's) - 1st time
- Star Sound Unit (Macy's) - 14th time
- Rocking Lobster (Macy's) - 32nd time
- Rocking Giraffe (Macy's) - 11th time
- Rocking Moose (Macy's) - 6th time
- Rocking Horse (Macy's) - 62nd time
- Ann Richards Marching Stars (Austin, TX), performed "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
- Hampton University Marching Force (Hampton, VA), performed "A Celebration of Family"
- NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY), performed "I Want You Back"
- Macy's Great American Marching Band (Nationwide), performed "Strike Up the Band"
- Union High School Renegade Regiment (Tulsa, OK), performed "Oklahoma"
- Sound of Brownsburg Marching Band (Brownsburg, IN), performed "Mirko"
- Lincoln-Way Marching Band (Frankfort, IL), performed "Metamorphosis"
- Trabuco Hills High School Thundering Mustangs Marching Unit (Mission Viejo, CA), performed "Pure Imagination"
- Centerville Jazz Band (Centerville, OH), performed "The Twelve Days of Christmas"
- University of Alabama Million Dollar Band (Tuscaloosa, AL), performed "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
- Jimmie Allen, sang "Freedom Was A Highway" (Harvest in the Valley)
- Tai Verdes and the St. John's Dance Team, performed "A-O-K" (Big Turkey Spectacular)
- The Cast of Sesame Street, sang "See Us Coming Together" (1-2-3 Sesame Street)
- Steve Burns, Donovan Patton and Josh Dela Cruz, sang "You Can’t Spell Blue without YOU" (Blue's Clues & You!)
- Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier (Big City Cheer!)
- Foreigner with the Young People's Chorus of NYC, sang "I Want To Know What Love Is" (Toy House of Marvelous Milestones)
- Chris Lane, sang "I Don't Know About You" (Mount Rushmore's American Pride)
- Kim Petras and Boss Kids, performed "I Don't Want It At All" (Rexy in the City)
- Jon Batiste, sang "I NEED YOU" (Celebration Gator)
- Kyle Troup and Shannon O'Keefe (Go Bowling)
- aespa, sang “Savage” (Her Future Is STEM-Sational)
- Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus (Snoopy's Doghouse)
- Zoe Wees, sang "Girls Like Us" (The Brick-Changer)
- Ronald McDonald, Grimace and Hamburglar (Big Red Shoe Car)
- Jordan Fisher and Disney Characters, sang "Together We Set Sail" (Magic Meets the Sea)
- Nelly, sang "Lil Bit" (Colossal Wave of Wonder)
- The Cast of Girls5eva, sang "Famous 5eva" (Birds of a Feather Stream Together)
- Mickey Guyton, sang "All American" (Winning Winter Together)
- NHL Alumni Anson Carter and Bryce Salvador (Winning Winter Together)
- Andy Grammer, sang "Damn It Feels Good To Be Me" (Everyone's Favorite Bake Shop)
- Tauren Wells, sang "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" (Home Sweet Home)
- Darren Criss, sang "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" (Fantasy Chocolate Factory)
- Elf on the Shelf Scout Elves (Elf Pets)
- Rob Thomas, sang "Small Town Christmas" (Heartwarming Holiday Countdown)
- Broadway Education Alliance Youth Choir (Deck the Halls)
- Geoffrey the Giraffe (Rocking Horse)
- Kelly Rowland, sang "Wonderful Time" (Christmas in Town Square)
- Macy's Singing Christmas Tree Choir and Fred Astaire Dance Studios, performed "A Christmas Waltz Medley" (Macy's Singing Christmas Tree)
- Polar Bear and Penguin (Tiptoe's North Pole)
- Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus (Santa's Sleigh)
- Opening Cheer Group (Nationwide)
- Indigenous Direction, presented a Wampanoag Blessing
- Ballet Hispànico School of Dance (New York, NY), performed "Sabor del Alma"
- Spirit of America Cheer (Nationwide), performed "Cheer Mix"
- Spirit of America Dance Stars (Nationwide), performed "When Love Takes Over"
- J.U.M.P. (Strongsville, OH), performed “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
- #TheAccidentals Quartet (New York, NY), sang "I Don't Wanna Grow Up"
- Annie Live!, performed "I Don't Need Anything But You" and "Tomorrow"
- Moulin Rouge! The Musical, performed "The Sparkling Diamond"
- SIX, performed “Ex-Wives” and "Six"
- Wicked, performed “One Short Day”
- Carrie Underwood, sang "Favorite Time of Year"
- The Radio City Rockettes, performed "Christmas Dreams"
- Turkey Tech Players & Sports Fans - 11th time
- Corny-Copia Clowns - 17th time
- Funny Farm Clowns - 27th time
- Super Hero Clowns - 2nd time
- Funny First Responders - 1st time
- Parade Brigade Clowns - 5th time
- Nutty Professor Einsteins & Wacky Graduate Clowns - 20th time
- Artist Clowns - 17th time
- Wedding Bell-Y Laffs Limo Service Clowns - 2nd time
- Pre-K Clowns - 14th time
- Birthday Party Clowns - 26th time
- Springtime Clowns - 18th time
- Hoedown Clowns - 9th time
- Circus Clowns - 10th time
- Holiday Clowns - 15th time
- Aviator Clowns - 2nd time
- Malt Shop Clowns - 14th time
- Baseball All-Stars - 19th time
- Spacey Clowns - 1st time
- Jester Clowns - 11th time
- Silly Sailors - 5th time
- Silly Seaside Clowns & Sea Creatures - 16th time
- Safari Clowns - 1st time
- City Tourist Clowns - 7th time
- Half-Baked Holiday Sweets - 14th time
- Funny Flurry Clowns - 3rd time
- Wintertime Clowns - 4th time
- Nutty-Cracker Ballet Clowns - 11th time
- Santa's Toy Box Clowns - 16th time
- Rag Doll Clowns - 15th time
- Sleepy Clowns - 21st time
- Rooster - 14th time
- Peg Leg Pirate - 10th time
- Pencil - 9th time
- Groom - 2nd time
- Cowboy & Cowgirl - 7th time
- Mardi Gras - 1st time
- Statue of Liberty - 4th time
- Entenmann's Bakers - 5th time
- Lumberjacks - 2nd time
- Elves - 3rd time
- Candy Canes - 11th time
- Snowflakes - 7th time
- Toy Soldiers - 11th time
- Funny Farm Truck Vehicle - 27th time
- Fire Truck Clown Vehicle - 30th time
- School Bus - 12th time
- Taxi Cab Vehicle - 12th time
- Half-Baked Delivery Truck - 5th time
- The 95th annual procession marked the return of the 2.5-mile long Parade route, with spectators once again being allowed to line the streets of New York City. The 2021 Macy's Parade health and safety procedures included, but were not limited to the following:
- All volunteer participants and staff were vaccinated. Vaccine verification was conducted at all back of house entry points. A few exceptions to this procedure was made at the sole discretion of Macy’s and its medical consultant based on select extenuating circumstances. For those rare instances, Macy’s medical consultant administered COVID-19 testing and clear the individual for Parade participation.
- All participants and staff regardless of vaccination status wore face coverings and additional protective equipment, as warranted by their role. As appropriate, exceptions included singers, dancers and musicians performing down the route or for the national broadcast.
- Macy’s implemented a reduction in the overall number of participants of between 10 to 20 percent (approximately 800 to 1,600 participants).
- Social distancing practices were in place at all interior/exterior Parade operations including costuming areas, seating and participant check-in.
- Both the Ada Twist, Scientist and Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloons experienced a loss of helium in their head chambers, however both were able to complete their march with no other problems.
- The 95th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade/Gallery
- The 95th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Marching Order
- Kristin Chenoweth was initally scheduled to perform a song from her album, Happiness is...Christmas!, on the Balsam Hill float. However, she was unable to appear due to unknown reasons.
- The Indigenous Direction and #TheAccidentals Quartet only made appearances at 34th Street for the NBC telecast, and did not appear on the Parade route.
- The Turkey Tech Players & Sports Fans did not appear on route, as they were instead featured in a pre-Parade segment on NBC.