Running The Numbers On The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

It takes a lot to pull off this big parade Thanksgiving brings our family and friends together to celebrate what we’re thankful for, one of these things is watching...

(Photo Credit: Yuliya Q.)

It takes a lot to pull off this big parade

Thanksgiving brings our family and friends together to celebrate what we’re thankful for, one of these things is watching the infamous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while gobbling some turkey. The parade is so big we decided to run the numbers on what it takes to pull off one of the biggest parades in New York.

93 Years Of Macy’s Parade
The first year of the parade was 1924 and the tradition runs strong. The only time the parade was on hiatus was during World War II from 1942 to 1944, with most American resources being used for the war effort.

2.5 Miles
The parade goes on for 2.5 miles starting at 77th & Central Park West to 34th Street-Herald Square.

The Cost Of Owning A Parade Float
You think dropping coin for a balloon is pricey, then you haven’t considered the price of a parade float. Floats are estimated to cost $780,000 to $2.6 million depending on the level of detail and staff needed. The floats also have to meet strict requirements with the width of a float measuring under 8.5 feet (collapsed) in order to fit through the Lincoln Tunnel, then floats are reconstructed from midnight to 8 a.m. before the morning of the parade.

3.5 Million Spectators
The total of people who attend the parade is on average 3.5 million with 8,000 people participating in the parade. The number of television spectators averages 50 million viewers nationwide.

Too Many Performers To Count
This parade truly offers every kind of performer imaginable and more including 4 Broadway musical performances, 22 stilted clowns, 1,000 clowns, The Radio City Rockettes, 10 performance groups (600 cheerleaders and 600 dancers), and 11 marching bands with a combined total of 2,793 members.

50 Balloons
This year will feature 50 giant helium balloons including 40 novelty, heritage, and specialty balloons with 16 character ballons.

The Cost Of Owning A Parade Balloon
Being apart of this infamous parade is a great source of publicity and advertising for companies, but of course, it comes at a cost. Companies looking to create a balloon and getting featured in the parade could cost upwards of $190,000. For parade veterans, they don’t have to worry about the construction fees but are still responsible for a $90,000 parade fee.

The Total Cost Of The Parade
The parade costs $11.6 to $13.4 million. Staff salaries and property taxes cost $2.7 to $4.5 million, with a studio space and costume supply storage asset worth $8.9 million. The helium budget for all the massive ballons totals to $510,000 using 300,000 to 700,000 cubic feet of helium.

All these numbers equal one thing, a guaranteed TV spectacle that the whole family is bound to enjoy. You can watch the parade on NBC from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m on Thursday, Nov. 28.

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