Muppets will retake Manhattan in 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

For its 90th anniversary, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is bringing out the big guns.

On Tuesday, the retailer unveiled its lineup for the 2016 parade and it is as eclectic as the 16 giant character balloons that will loom over Herald Square on Nov. 24.

The event will host not one, but two sets of Muppets, with Kermit and his crew kicking off the parade with a musical number and Big Bird and the “Sesame Street” team appearing later in the parade.


Among the human participants will be legendary crooner Tony Bennett, singer-songwriters Sarah McLachlan and Regina Spektor and soul artist Aloe Blacc.

The parade will also not want for gold medal representation with U.S. Paralympians Mikey Brannigan and Gianfranco Iannotta, as well as Olympians Michelle Carter and Laurie Hernandez.

“Since our historic first march in 1924, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a call to celebration,” Amy Kule, the executive producer of the parade, said in Tuesday’s announcement. “This year, as we celebrate 90 years of magical moments, we are truly humbled by the unique role the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade fills in the lives of millions worldwide.”

Of course, many of the parade’s most fabulous elements aren’t necessarily household names.

This fall, 16 marching bands and performance groups and over 1,100 cheerleaders and dancers will process through the streets of New York, including the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees from Alameda.

DreamWorks Animation’s Felix the Cat, whose likeness was the first balloon featured in a Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in 1927, will return in throwback form, designed and built in the same methods utilized in the 1920s.

Unlike his fellow balloons such as Charlie Brown and Ronald McDonald, Felix will process carried on sticks, also mimicking his original appearance.

The parade airs at 9 a.m. PST on NBC.

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