The 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is almost here! Airing live on NBC November 23, 2017, the televised event has long been the perfect Turkey Day viewing treat with a lineup chock full of balloons, floats, performances, and marching bands. Naturally, we always anticipate seeing the brand mascots and the Macy’s Parade has featured dozens of memorable characters over the decades. From floats to balloons, here’s a look at the icons you can expect to see take Manhattan with their larger than life appearances this year.
Float Debut Year: 2017
Ho ho ho! This year, Macy’s is launching five new floats for the parade including “Harvest in the Valley” from Green Giant. We got a sneak peek at Macy’s Parade Studio and this float pays homage to the first Thanksgiving featuring a fall harvest with green beans, corn, and more vegetables set in a rolling landscape. A replica of the Green Giant holding ears of corn takes center stage in the float, standing at more than two stories high and volunteers will be on deck dressed as roasted corn, flowers, and pumpkins. One more piece of tasty trivia — last week, Green Giant officially landed a spot in the Guinness World Records with the largest serving of green bean casserole, ever!
Balloon Debut Year: 1963
Speaking of iconic green mascots, did you know that the Sinclair Dino first made his Macy’s Parade appearance in 1963? The character, and his balloon, was such a fan favorite that he has been featured in 13 Macy’s Parades — and we’re excited to see him back in the parade this year!
The Pillsbury Doughboy
Balloon Debut Year: 2009
It’s the big Doughboy in the Big Apple! Pillsbury’s own Poppin’ Fresh is a regular in the Macy’s Parade and he arrives with his own entourage. About 90 handlers are on the ground at any given moment to ensure he doesn’t float away!
Balloon Debut Year: 2007
One of the most recognizable characters reppin’ the Sanrio brand, Hello Kitty has been soaring above NYC in the Macy’s Parade since 2007 — first taking flight solo and now on her own custom yellow plane that’s just as cute as she is.
The Colonel (KFC)
Float Debut Year: 2015
KFC’s Colonel Sanders loves a good road trip — just check out his float! “The Colonel’s Road to NYC” features a model of his original Kentucky café, the Colonel’s signature white limo, freeway signs, and more. The Colonel’s Cadillac measures at 17 feet long with a license plate included: COOPE-1.
Balloon Debut Year: 1966
This year, fans of this hamburger-eating clown will spot him not once but twice in the Macy’s Parade! There’s Ronald as a helium balloon, making his 16th appearance in the parade clad in spiffy six-foot-long bowtie and a pair of size 200 XXXXXXXL-wide red shoes. He will also be on ground in the McDonald’s Big Red Shoe Car — a float unlike any you’ll see all day at the parade!
Image credit: Macy’s