During November on the fourth Thursday of the month, Macy’s Department store holds an annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
Each year, people flock from everywhere to witness the three-hour event (which starts at 9:00 AM) even though it is televised by NBC (and other local networks) as they love to see it in person. If you are planning on leaving New York after the parade, please be aware that you need to be at the airport between 2 hours (for domestic) and 3 hours (International) before departure to clear security and check in so any departure flights that you have should be leaving after 6:00 PM. Flights after 6:00 PM will give you enough time to pick up any luggage from your hotel or locker storage plus the commute, check in and security at the airport.
Most will even show up on Wednesday evening by Central Park West and Columbus Avenue on 77th and 81st Street to watch the inflation of the giant balloons then stay over to participate in Black Friday shopping in New York.
So how do you get your chance to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live in Manhattan? It is best to show up very early (after 6:00 AM EST to avoid the park’s 5 hour curfew) in the morning and dress for the weather. Arriving too early and not dressing properly will give you the urge to visit the nearby restrooms frequently.
The parade kicks off Thursday at 77th Street and Central Park West where all will be marching south on Central Park West. It will then turn east onto Central Park South, instead of going down Broadway. When the parade reaches 7th Avenue, the procession will turn south at the corner of Central Park South and march to 42nd Street from 7th to 6th Avenues. At 6th Avenue, the Parade will veer south and march to 34th Street. At 34th Street, the procession will head west to Herald Square, ending at 34th Street and 7th Avenue.
Those who are fortunate to have Grandstand seating should meet up at Columbus Avenue and 76th Street to join the admitting line. Non-ticket holders staying around the area should avoid taking folding chairs which you will have to deal with once the progran is over.
If you are not residing in New York area, hopefully you will have an affordable room at a hotel or hostel nearby to Central Park to reduce your commute time to the parade. Being there late will make you miss out on getting the best view.
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