The Thanksgiving Parade Guide: Honorary grand marshals, dates and locations for Macy’s 90th celebration

( Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City begins at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday. Thousands of people will line New York’s streets for a spectacle, stretching more than five miles and featuring some 25 marching bands, more than 50 performing groups, plus more than a million balloons and more than 1,000 helium-filled characters.

As it’s done every year, tradition will once again accompany the parade, moving from Central Park West in Manhattan to the front steps of the U.S. Capitol and all the way to the west side of Manhattan. Beginning at about 11 a.m., paradegoers will trek up Fifth Avenue in what is widely considered to be one of the world’s most iconic parades.

Here is a list of the honorary grand marshals who will be lead the parade this year:

Vincent Bloomberg (2001)

Mayor Bloomberg decided to revive the parade in 1987 when he took office, using the proceeds to redo outdoor furniture, clean city streets and increase the NYPD presence. Bloomberg held five balloons down to let the Macy’s balloons be lifted by the NYPD and other sanitation workers during the 1997 snowstorm.

Honorable Mention: Marion Segal (1959)

Honorary grand marshal! For nearly 50 years, this 10-year-old climber in a tuxedo has kept the spirit of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade alive by dangling from the sides of balloons just prior to the start of the parade.

There will be an added dose of history this year with the historic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is marking its 90th anniversary. Organizers had hoped to sell the program to a third party when they began meeting with wealthy prospective buyers last year, but those meetings didn’t pan out, resulting in the issue being resolved between Macy’s and the City of New York.

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