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Each Thanksgiving morning, Amy Kule leads the march down the streets of Manhattan as a representative of the more than 4,000 Macy’s employee volunteers who have given up their holiday to bring the nation a holiday spectacle like no other, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. This year, joining her will be a group of New York City Girl Scouts, who through exemplary service have merited this honor in celebration of the Girl Scouts of America’s 100th anniversary.

The 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade marks the start of the holiday season with the nation’s most beloved spectacle, featuring giant helium balloons, floats of wonder, pulse pounding marching bands, engaging performance groups, celebrity performers and the one-and-only Santa Clause.

America’s Parade returns to launch the holidays with unrivaled pomp and pageantry and its signature brand of magic. On Thursday at 9 a.m., over 8,000 participants will shout Let’s Have A Parade, as the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade takes to the streets of New York City. With more than 3.5 million spectators watching the revelry live and more than 50 million viewers tuned in to the magic nationwide.

Featuring signature elements, the Macy’s Parade has marked the start of the holiday season since its inception in 1924. This year the line-up of wonder unfolds with 16 giant character balloons; 40 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 28 floats; 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers; 900 clowns; 11 marching bands; a host of celebrity performers, and of course Santa Clause.

“The 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will again make history as it debuts three impressive giant balloons, six over-the-top floats, an amazing array of talent and the most remarkable high school and college marching bands in the nation,” said Amy Kule, executive prouder of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She added, “This incredible cavalcade will make its way down 6th Avenue, a path that marks only the seventh time the Parade has changed its route. And, as it has during turbulent times in our history, we hope that the Macy’s Parade serves as a beacon of hope for all who tune in and gather with friends and family to give thanks this season as they continue to heal from the devastating aftermath of super storm Sandy. During its 86th year, the Parade continues to create new memories and magical moments for more than 3 million live spectators and over 50 million who tune in across the country.”

What’s your favorite part of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

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