Manhattan is prepared for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the annual pageant of giant balloons, floats, cheerleaders, clowns, marching bands, and celebrities.
On November 27, 2014, the 88th annual parade will start at Central Park West and West 77th Street, head down Central Park West and travel east along Central Park South to Sixth Avenue. From there the procession will move south from West 59th Street to West 34th Street, ending in front of the Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square.
There are three recommended stretches or spots on the route for watching the parade: the first leg along Central Park West, Time Warner Center and, finally, along Sixth Avenue between Central Park South and 38th Street. The section from 38th Street to Herald Square and Macy’s department store is the telecast area and closed to the public. While there is limited space for viewing along the south side of 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, the sight lines are seriously compromised by cameras, lights and scaffolding.
Sixth Avenue: The floats and balloons reach Sixth Avenue at about 9:30AM, so arrive at this 21-block portion as late as 7AM and you should still find a good spot.
Time Warner Center: The Shops at Columbus Circle open at 9AM on Thanksgiving Day. From the second and third floors of the mall, you’ll enjoy an elevated view of the parade streaming down Central Park West. As an added bonus you’ll also get to see the Holiday Under the Stars light display.
Central Park West: Viewing starts at 75th Street (two blocks down from the official start of the parade) and is only open to the public on the west side. Central Park is closed for invite-only grandstand seating. The parade runs along this stretch from 9–10:30AM, so early birds who don’t mind turning up at 6AM to snag a prime spot should flock here.
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