Three MILLION people line NYC streets for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade


A crowd of 3 million people gathered on Manhattan’s streets to catch the 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, where usual host Al Roker was missing after being hospitalized 

With temperatures rising to a high of 50 on Thursday morning along with clear skies, spectators should have a clear view of the 16 giant balloon characters set to fly at 9 a.m. 

While all eyes were on the parade, viewers may notice the absence of The Today Show’s Al Roker, missed the event for the first time in 27 years after being hospitalized for blood clots. 

Among those wishing Roker a speedy recovery was President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, who called into the show as they also thanked first responders and the troops. 

Tweeting on Thursday morning, Roker shared a picture of him watching the parade from the hospital, enjoying the show on TV like more than 20 million viewers as he noted that he will be discharged in time to attend dinner with family. 

‘So much to be #thankful for on the #thanksgiving day. Leaving the hospital and home for #thanksgivingdinner,’ Roker wrote.

Notably missing is Today Show host Al Roker (pictured), who will be absent for the first time in 27 years after being hospitalized for blood clots. During the parade, Roker shared a picture of him watching along and revealed that he will be discharged from the hospital in time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with his family

Notably missing is Today Show host Al Roker (pictured), who will be absent for the first time in 27 years after being hospitalized for blood clots. During the parade, Roker shared a picture of him watching along and revealed that he will be discharged from the hospital in time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with his family 

About 3 million people are expected to attend the 96th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan as the weather warms up and skies are clear for the giant balloons

About 3 million people are expected to attend the 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan as the weather warms up and skies are clear for the giant balloons 

The 3 million attending the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade were fixated on pop icon Paula Abdul

The 3 million attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade were fixated on pop icon Paula Abdul

Abdul took the streets with a dazzling performance of her pop hit, 'Straight Up,' as the 60-year-old finished an energetic tap dancing routine that wowed audiences

Abdul took the streets with a dazzling performance of her pop hit, ‘Straight Up,’ as the 60-year-old finished an energetic tap dancing routine that wowed audiences 

Snoopy is the most prevalent character at the parade, featuring his iconic astronaut outfit. It is 49 feet tall

Snoopy is the most prevalent character at the parade, featuring his iconic astronaut outfit. It is 49 feet tall

Among the most popular balloons hitting the streets was Spongebob Squarepants. The float is 44 feet tall or as high as a four story building and as wide as seven taxi cabs

Among the most popular balloons hitting the streets was Spongebob Squarepants. The float is 44 feet tall or as high as a four story building and as wide as seven taxi cabs 

Along with Snoopy, one of the oldest balloon characters include Ronald McDonald (pictured). The clown stands at 40 feet tall, 68 feet long and only 31 feet wide

Along with Snoopy, one of the oldest balloon characters include Ronald McDonald (pictured). The clown stands at 40 feet tall, 68 feet long and only 31 feet wide

Taking flight for the first time at the parade was Stuart the Minion (above). It is 37 feet tall and 28 feet wide

Taking flight for the first time at the parade was Stuart the Minion (above). It is 37 feet tall and 28 feet wide

Following closely behind was the massive Baby Shark balloon (pictured)

Following closely behind was the massive Baby Shark balloon (pictured)

Broadway singer Lea Michele kicked off the annual Thanksgiving Day parade with a dazzling performance

Broadway singer Lea Michele kicked off the annual Thanksgiving Day parade with a dazzling performance 

Michele performed 'Don't Rain on My Parade' from her Broadway Show 'Funny Girl'

Michele performed ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ from her Broadway Show ‘Funny Girl’

Organizers said the parade will begin in the city's Upper West Side and end at Macy's iconic store at Herald Square

 Organizers said the parade will begin in the city’s Upper West Side and end at Macy’s iconic store at Herald Square

Tom Turkey could be seen as the Thanksgiving parade officially kicked off in Manhattan with the cutting of the red ribbon

Tom Turkey could be seen as the Thanksgiving parade officially kicked off in Manhattan with the cutting of the red ribbon

The lead parade marching band was seen playing on the way to Herald Square

The lead parade marching band was seen playing on the way to Herald Square

The streets were completely packed as people crowded to see the parade

The streets were completely packed as people crowded to see the parade 

Along with the balloons, 28 floats will be making their way to Herald Square. Pictured: Lego's Brick-Changer float

Along with the balloons, 28 floats will be making their way to Herald Square. Pictured: Lego’s Brick-Changer float 

Another float featured performers on the Macy's Singing Christmas Tree singing 'Santa Claus is Coming' To Town'

Another float featured performers on the Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree singing ‘Santa Claus is Coming’ To Town’

Santa Claus has appeared at the parade with his elves, signaling the event is almost at its end

Santa Claus has appeared at the parade with his elves, signaling the event is almost at its end

Despite Roker’s absence, the show went on without the popular host as Broadway singer Lea Michele kicked off the festivities with a performance of ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ from her Broadway Show ‘Funny Girl.’ 

Following other Broadway performances, spectators were fixed on Abdul’s energetic performance of her hit, ‘Straight Up,’ as the 60-year-old proved she can still awe audiences. 

Along with the iconic balloons, the parade will also feature 28 floats, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns and several music stars are set to make their way through on Thanksgiving Day.

Organizers said the parade will begin in the city’s Upper West Side and end at Macy’s iconic store at Herald Square.

The attendance is predicted to include 500,000 more people than last year. The 2020 parade was a TV-only festival due to the pandemic. 

This year's parade premiered 'Striker the U.S. Soccer Star' in celebration of the World Cup

This year’s parade premiered ‘Striker the U.S. Soccer Star’ in celebration of the World Cup

Among the newest balloons hitting the skies will be popular Grogu from the Star Wars franchise. The massive balloon is 41 feet tall, 29 feet long, and 37 feet wide

Among the newest balloons hitting the skies will be popular Grogu from the Star Wars franchise. The massive balloon is 41 feet tall, 29 feet long, and 37 feet wide  

Scores of Star Wars themed balloon carriers dressed snuggly as the carried the baby Yoda character

Scores of Star Wars themed balloon carriers dressed snuggly as the carried the baby Yoda character

Returning to the Thanksgiving Day Parade was the Goku float, seen making its way through Manhattan. This balloon is among the biggest at 56 feet tall, 70 feet long and 36 feet wide

Returning to the Thanksgiving Day Parade was the Goku float, seen making its way through Manhattan. This balloon is among the biggest at 56 feet tall, 70 feet long and 36 feet wide 

The PAW Patrol balloon could be seen towering above as people stared from their balconies. The balloon is 43 feet tall

The PAW Patrol balloon could be seen towering above as people stared from their balconies. The balloon is 43 feet tall

The Bluey balloon was another dog taking to the skies during the parade in his very first appearance

The Bluey balloon was another dog taking to the skies during the parade in his very first appearance 

Also towering were the Pokemon Company's Pikachu and Eevee balloon riding a sled. The balloon is 48 feet long

Also towering were the Pokemon Company’s Pikachu and Eevee balloon riding a sled. The balloon is 48 feet long 

Pictured: Cheerleaders from the University of Missouri marching band walk down Central Park South

Pictured: Cheerleaders from the University of Missouri marching band walk down Central Park South

Also flooding the street was Macy's Great American Marching Band (pictured)

Also flooding the street was Macy’s Great American Marching Band (pictured)

Late night host Jimmy Fallon (left) posed with Paula Abdul (right) before their performances during the parade

Late night host Jimmy Fallon (left) posed with Paula Abdul (right) before their performances during the parade 

Among the other celebrities at the show were Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin starts, including Adam Devine (center)

Among the other celebrities at the show were Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin starts, including Adam Devine (center)

Spectators were seen tossing paper snow at a toy soldier actor as they took part of the parade

Spectators were seen tossing paper snow at a toy soldier actor as they took part of the parade

Pictured: Miss America Emma Broyles (above) participates in the 96th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Pictured: Miss America Emma Broyles (above) participates in the 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Also waving at spectators was the iconic Mickey Mouse riding atop the Disney float

Also waving at spectators was the iconic Mickey Mouse riding atop the Disney float

Santa waved on from his sleigh to kick off the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season

Santa waved on from his sleigh to kick off the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season 

Performers in the parade include Paula Abdul, Sean Paul, The Roots, Jimmy Fallon, Jordan Sparks, Sesame Street, Big Time Rush, and Gloria Estefan, who will appear with her daughter and grandson. 

Mariah Carey is set to be the grand finale performer as she performs ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ at the Macy’s store in Herald Square. 

Michele wasn’t the only Broadway star to hit the streets as other performances included ‘A Beautiful Noise,’ ‘Some Like It Hot,’ and, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, Disney’s ‘The Lion King.’ 

Stunning spectators with a Jazz-filled performance led by Trombone Shorty (above)

Stunning spectators with a Jazz-filled performance led by Trombone Shorty (above) 

Red Titan from Ryan's World balloon flies in the sky as spectators in Central Park watch. The balloon is 42 feet tall

Red Titan from Ryan’s World balloon flies in the sky as spectators in Central Park watch. The balloon is 42 feet tall 

The Ada Twist, Scientist balloon (pictured) floats past Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. The balloon towers at 51 feet tall

The Ada Twist, Scientist balloon (pictured) floats past Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. The balloon towers at 51 feet tall 

Following closely behind was The Pillsbury Doughboy (above), who towers at 46 feet tall and 34 feet wide

Following closely behind was The Pillsbury Doughboy (above), who towers at 46 feet tall and 34 feet wide 

Crowds have been forming by the parade route all morning along New York City Streets

Crowds have been forming by the parade route all morning along New York City Streets

People stared in awe of the massive balloons and musical performances during the packed event

People stared in awe of the massive balloons and musical performances during the packed event

Pictured: Autumn-themed confetti erupted as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicked off

Pictured: Autumn-themed confetti erupted as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicked off 

Along with giant balloon classics like Ronald McDonald, this year’s parade will premier ‘Striker the U.S. Soccer Star’ in celebration of the World Cup. Some of the balloons are as high as four-story buildings. 

Snoopy was among the many mainstays of the parade, appearing in his NASA suit as the longest-running character to appear at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Along with the balloon characters, spectators are also eager to see the iconic Tom Turkey and Santa Clause floats as they mark the start of the holiday season.  Riding the Tom Turkey float was comedian Mario Lopez and his family.  

Also spotted flying was the Greg Heffley balloon for the Dairy of a Whimpey Kid franchise. It is the character's 13th appearance at the parade and stands 39 feet tall and 45 feet long

Also spotted flying was the Greg Heffley balloon for the Dairy of a Whimpey Kid franchise. It is the character’s 13th appearance at the parade and stands 39 feet tall and 45 feet long 

Tom Turkey led the 96th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on Thursday morning

Tom Turkey led the 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on Thursday morning 

The parade also features 12 marching bands who will perform down the New York City Streets

The parade also features 12 marching bands who will perform down the New York City Streets

Another favorite at the parade was the Green Giant float, featuring Tariq the "Corn Kid" (center)

Another favorite at the parade was the Green Giant float, featuring Tariq the ‘Corn Kid’ (center)

Pictured: Kids in flower costumes sing along as they take part in the annual Thanksgiving Day parade

Pictured: Kids in flower costumes sing along as they take part in the annual Thanksgiving Day parade

Despite the jolly energy surrounding the parade, many were still upset by the absence of Roker, who has hosted the event for 27 years. 

Among those bummed by a parade without Roker included President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, who wished for the host’s quick recovery as they called in to the parade show.

The First couple also gave thanks to America’s first responders and troops. They said their holiday plans include a family dinner and walk on Nantucket beach.   

Among the characters taking to the skies was The Boss Baby, seen soaring as spectators looked on from their balconies. He is one of the taller balloons at a whopping 48 feet tall and 28 feet wide

Among the characters taking to the skies was The Boss Baby, seen soaring as spectators looked on from their balconies. He is one of the taller balloons at a whopping 48 feet tall and 28 feet wide 

Papa Smurf was spotted flying over Trump Tower on Thursday. The balloon is 51 feet tall and 43 feet long

Papa Smurf was spotted flying over Trump Tower on Thursday. The balloon is 51 feet tall and 43 feet long

Pictured: The Sinclair Oil Dino and Baby Dino balloon flying on Thursday morning. The baby is a new addition to the balloon as it stand 49 feet tall, 68 feet long and 26 feet wide

Pictured: The Sinclair Oil Dino and Baby Dino balloon flying on Thursday morning. The baby is a new addition to the balloon as it stand 49 feet tall, 68 feet long and 26 feet wide 

The First Couple also called in for holiday wishes, noting they, too, were disappointed that Roker was not hosting

The First Couple also called in for holiday wishes, noting they, too, were disappointed that Roker was not hosting  

Many took to social media to express their sadness over the absence of beloved host Al Roker

Many took to social media to express their sadness over the absence of beloved host Al Roker 

As in years past, the New York Police Department blocked off all vehicle access points to the parade route with sand-filled garbage trucks, and other heavy vehicles. 

Police presence has also been ramped up given recent shootings in the nation and threats against New York’s Jewish community. 

‘In light of recent events, specifically the shooting in the nightclub in Colorado Springs and the arrest of two individuals for posting threatening statements online to Jewish targets, the counterterrorism bureau will deploy additional resources to ensure that festivities across the city are safe for all,’ Assistant Chief Martine Materasso, who heads the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau, said at an Upper West Side press conference.

As in years past, the New York Police Department blocked off all vehicle access points to the parade route

As in years past, the New York Police Department blocked off all vehicle access points to the parade route

Police presence has also been ramped up given recent shootings in the nation and threats against New York's Jewish community

Police presence has also been ramped up given recent shootings in the nation and threats against New York’s Jewish community



2022-11-24 13:31:25