NEW YORK (AP) — The debut of a giant “Bluey” balloon, Lea Michele and the Broadway cast of “Funny Girl” and the legendary Dionne Warwick are some of the highlights slated for this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
This year’s parade — the 96th annual — will feature 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns, 10 performance groups and, of course, Santa Claus.
New balloon giants joining the line-up on Nov. 24 include Stuart the one-eyed Minion from “Despicable Me 2,” a new green dinosaur, an Apatosaurus, the debut of the animated sensation “Bluey,” and a new “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” balloon.
Other celebrities slated to be on hand include Paula Abdul, making her parade debut; Fitz and the Tantrums; Big Time Rush; “Blue’s Clues & You!” host Josh Dela Cruz; Gloria Estefan along with her daughter, Emily, and grandson, Sasha; Kirk Franklin; Mario Lopez; Ziggy Marley; and Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles.
The singers Joss Stone, Jordin Sparks and Betty Who will all be part of the festivities as will the stars of Peacock’s “Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin” — Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg. Jimmy Fallon & The Roots will be on a float celebrating Central Park.
“This November, as we once again set the stage for the start of the holiday season, we are thrilled to showcase another spectacle full of magic and wonder that will help create everlasting memories with loved ones during this special time of year,” Will Coss, the parade’s executive producer, said in a statement.
In addition to “Funny Girl,” Broadway will be represented by the casts of “A Beautiful Noise,” “Some Like It Hot,” ”The Lion King,” which is celebrating its 25th year on Broadway. The Radio City Rockettes will also march. This will be Warwick’s third parade; she also appeared in 1967 and 1984.
Returning giant balloons include “Ada Twist, Scientist,” “The Boss Baby,” Chase from “Paw Patrol,” the Pillsbury Doughboy, Red Titan from “Ryan’s World,” Ronald McDonald, Papa Smurf from ”The Smurfs,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and Pikachu and Eevee.
The Macy’s parade has been a traditional holiday season kickoff and spectators often line up a half-dozen deep along the route to cheer the marchers, floats, entertainers and marching bands.
Marching bands this year will represent South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, California, New York, South Dakota, Florida, Missouri, Texas and Veracruz, Mexico.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits