The 2017 Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC begins airing live at 9 a.m. ET on NBC on November 23, 2017. Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker of NBC’s Today are hosting the broadcast. The festivities are set to kickoff with a performance of “Dancing in the Street,” including stars like Harry Connick Jr., Martha Stewart, Jane Krakowski, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Harvey, and John O’Hurley, according to NJ.com. Gwen Stefani will also appear. What is important to thousands of people gathering to view the parade today … ? The weather forecast. The National Weather Service reports that, as of 7 a.m. ET Thanksgiving Day morning, the weather will be mostly sunny, but will be cold at a temperature of 31 degrees, with a wind chill of 24 degrees. No rain or snow is expected, but wind speed will be 7 miles per hour. When the parade starts, the temperature will raise a little, to 36 degrees, with a wind chill of 30. By noon, the temperature will rise to 42 degrees with a wind chill of 37 degrees and a wind speed of 8 miles per hour. The highest temperature of the day is predicted to be 46 degrees at around 3 p.m. ET.
According to Accuweather, over 3.5 million people are expected to appear in the streets to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year. AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams’ assessment of how the parade floats will hold up is that, “It will get windy for a time into Wednesday night, which may pose a problem if the massive balloons are inflated and held during that time. Winds are likely to ease up late Wednesday night into Thanksgiving morning.” The parade is always rain or shine, but if wind speeds are too high, the parade cannot incorporate its iconic giant balloons. This is due to safety concerns. Fortunately, this should not be an issue this year, as winds will not exceed 23 miles per hour and gusts will not be over 34 miles per hour. Macy’s reports that this year’s parade will feature “17 giant character balloons; 28 legacy balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 26 floats; 1,100 cheerleaders and dancers; more than 1,000 clowns; 12 marching bands and six performance groups.”
For those hoping to watch the parade for the holiday, New York CBS Local reports that areas have been shut down from 73rd Street to 85th Street and barriers have been put up all along Columbus Avenue, from 77th Street to 81st Street for spectators. NYPD Assistant Chief Kathleen O’Reilly explained, “Everybody can cue here on Central Park West and enjoy a wonderful event. It’s much better, secure, safer footprint for the people to come.” According to NY Curbed, the route for the parade runs for 2.5 miles. It starts at 77th Street and Central Park West and it ends in Midtown in front of Macy’s Herald Square on 34th Street. The first ever Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in 1924, but balloons were not incorporated until a few years after the first parade.