‘Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021: aespa, Kristin Chenoweth on This Year’s List of Performers

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is back. After banning spectators and nixing the traditional parade route last year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the time-honored turkey day traditional will be back in its usual form in 2021. This year’s event features a star-studded lineup of performers, including Broadway stars, pop singers, and more. Plus, you can expect the usual lineup of floats, balloons, and marching bands when the parade airs Thanksgiving Day on NBC. 

Kristin Chenoweth, aespa, Kelly Rowland to perform at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 

K-pop group aespa performs during 2021 World K-pop Concert
aespa | Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images

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This year, 28 floats will travel 2½ miles from Central Park West to Macy’s flagship Herald Square store. 

The cast of Peacock’s Girls5eva — Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell, and Busy Philipps — will perform on the streaming service’s new “Birds of a Feather Stream Together” float. Jon Batiste will appear on the Louisiana Office of Tourism’s float, while Nelly will be on Kalahari Resorts and Conventions’ “Colossal Wave of Wonder” float. Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth will perform on the Balsam Hill float, while Blue’s Clues hosts Steve Burns, Josh Dela Cruz, and Donovan Patton will be on the Nickelodeon float. 

Breakout K-pop group aespa will perform on Olay’s float, with celebrates STEM education for girls and women. According to the group’s official Twitter, they’ll be the first K-pop girl group to perform at the parade. 

Kelly Rowland will perform — and promote her upcoming Lifetime holiday movie Merry Liddle Christmas Baby — on the cable channel’s float. Matchbox 20 singer (and Hallmark movie superfan) Rob Thomas will be a guest on Hallmark Channel’s float. 

“I’m a Christmas geek, I’m a Hallmark movie geek … And then because of that, I’m going to be in the Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Hallmark float,” Thomas told Us Weekly

This year’s list of scheduled performers also includes Andy Grammer, Chris Lane, Darren Criss, Foreigner, Jimmie Allen, Jordan Fisher, Kim Petras, Mickey Guyton, Tai Verdes, Tauren Wells, and Zoe Wees. 

Baby Yoda, Ronald McDonald among this year’s new balloons 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Baby Yoda balloon
The Grogu (a.k.a. Baby Yoda) balloon ahead of the 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade | Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s, Inc.

The giant character balloons are one of the parade’s top attractions. This year’s new inflatables include The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda (aka Grogu); Netflix’s Ada Twist, Scientist; Ronald McDonald; and Pikachu and Eevee from Pokémon. Chase from Paw Patrol, Papa Smurf, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Spongebob Squarepants balloons will also float above the streets of Manhattan at the 95th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  

Ten marching bands will perform at the parade. So will the Radio City Rockettes and cast members from the Broadway musicals SIX, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, and Wicked. 

How to watch the 2021 Thanksgiving Day parade 

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The 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs Thursday, Nov. 25 on NBC. (It will also stream on Peacock.) The broadcast kicks off at 9 a.m. and runs through 12 p.m. in all time zones, with a Spanish-language simulcast on Telemundo. There will be an encore presentation of the parade from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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