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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: How to watch, what to expect

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The Ronald McDonald balloon moves down 7th Avenue as spectators depart from the 95th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on November 25, 2021. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/64b11c006610b0ca4027eca6dcd5fcda/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The Ronald McDonald balloon moves down 7th Avenue as spectators depart from the 95th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on November 25, 2021. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The 96th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will air live from New York City on Thursday.

The parade started in 1924 and has been broadcast live on NBC since 1948. The 2.5 mile long route starts on West 77th Street and Central Park West in the Upper West Side and ends in Macy's Herald Square in Midtown.

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The annual event is known for its giant balloon characters, balloonicles (an inflatable/vehicle combination), floats, marching bands, clowns, performers and performance groups. This year, there will be five new floats and four new balloons, plus a special appearance by Mariah Carey, who is opening for Santa Claus.

The event is set to be hosted by Today's Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker, but as Roker is recovering after being hospitalized for blood clots in his leg and lungs last week, it remains to be seen whether he will be there. Guthrie has hosted since 2012, Kotb has hosted for the past three years and Roker has hosted since 1995.

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How to watch

Time: 9 a.m. in all time zones

Network: NBC

Streaming: Peacock, Paramount+, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, fuboTV and other live streaming platforms

Performers: Mariah Carey, Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin's Adam Devine, Sara Hyland and Flula Borg, Betty Who, Big Time Rush, Blanco Brown, Cam, Dionne Warwick, Fitz and The Tantrums, Gloria, Sasha and Emily Estefan, Jordin Sparks, Joss Stone, Kirk Franklin, Paula Abdul, Sean Paul, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Ziggy Marley and the casts of Broadway's Funny Girl, A Beautiful Noise, Some Like It Hot and The Lion King.

Balloon lineup: There will be 27 giant balloons, including Bluey, Goku, Stuart the Minion, Ada Twist, Scientist's Ada, Diary of a Wimpy Kid's Greg Heffley, Papa Smurf, Grogu, Paw Patrol's Chase, plus seven balloonicles.

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Moments from the 2021 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Workers inflate the Grogu balloon while preparing for the 95th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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