a letter to The Sun newspaper in New York asking if there is a Santa Claus. (She’ll get to escort Santa Claus down the parade route.)It’s safe to say Kanye West will be the biggest name performing at the 84th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and as such, we hope he’s planning a big surprise … like performing in front of a giant helium balloon of himself. (Don’t even pretend that wouldn’t be awesome.) The other celebs spending their day in front of 3.5 million spectators in Manhattan and more than 50 million viewers nationwide include, in alphabetical order: India.Arie, Big Time Rush, Betty Buckley, Ann Hampton Callaway, the casts of Broadway’s American Idiot, Elf, Memphis, Million Dollar Quartet, the Big Apple Circus, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Miranda Cosgrove, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Gloriana, Michael Grimm, Arlo Guthrie, Keri Hilson, Eric Hutchinson, Juanes, Victoria Justice, Gladys Knight, Mannheim Steamroller, Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih, Power Rangers Samurai, Joan and Melissa Rivers, Crystal Shawanda, and Jessica Simpson. New balloons will include: Diary of Wimpy Kid’s Greg Heffley, Kung Fu Panda’s Po, Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai and Kiki, Kool-Aid Man, and Virginia O’Hanlon, the 8-year-old who, in 1897, famously wrote
New floats will include: “Snow Queen,” on which Joan Rivers will assume the title role while Melissa Rivers and her son Cooper play the Snow Princess and Jack Frost (we’re not even joking);
“Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure,” on which Dora the Explorer and her friends teach their pal Swiper about the true spirit of the holidays; “Elves Raise the Roof,” on which elves inspired by OfficeMax ElfYourself will bust a move; “Home Baked Goodness,” on which a giant cast iron stove top will overflow with “scrumptious cupcakes, gingerbread men and cookies” made with a pinch of Morton Salt (they best spice that float up); “Mount Rushmore’s American Pride,” on which the landscapes of South Dakota will be represented (doesn’t sound that exciting, but a creative marketing move by the state’s office of tourism), “On the Roll Again,” on which a family of ducks heads to a Homewood Suites By Hilton (kids do like ducks); and “Top Hat!”, on which a 12-foot tall top hat will serve to celebrate the Apollo Theater’s 75th Anniversary.
What’s your favorite memory of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? It could be one when you actually witnessed the parade. (Do a quick search on YouTube, and you see people were very excited for Rick Astley’s surprise 2008 appearance. Watch it below.) Or, it could be your favorite Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade reference in pop culture. Every Thanksgiving, my sister brings up the “Balloons Over Broadway” episode of Spin City. “In our efforts to be more sensitive to our Native Americans, we now have a topless 40-foot Indian floating around Manhattan,” quips Charlie (Charlie Sheen) after a balloon loses her top and her handlers. Finally, the Mayor (Barry Bostwick) has to do the unthinkable: “Good afternoon. At 3:44 today, I issued an order to shoot down a renegade parade balloon,” he says at a press conference. “Just minutes ago, an elite SWAT team successfully carried out Operation Deflation. There were no casualties. Excuse me. [He’s handed a new sheet of paper.] Oh. I’ve just been informed that during the operation, the Garfield balloon was hit with friendly fire.”