Macy's Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will celebrate its 86th edition this year with 3.5 million onlookers on the streets of New York City — and 50 million viewers worldwide on television, thanks to NBC's special airing featuring celebrity hosts like Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker. “Since the first broadcast in 1948, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has become a tradition for families across America,” said NBC Senior VP of Special Programs, Doug Vaughan. “This year we are thrilled to once again celebrate with some of the nation’s best performers as we kick off the holiday season.”

Performances and guest appearances will include names like The Wanted, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Flo Rida, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Isaak, Carly Rae Jepsen, Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo, Cody Simpson, Food Network's Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, and U.S. Olympic gold medalists Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber. But the real star will be the parade itself, which this year features 28 floats, 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers, 900 clowns… and, of course, Santa Claus. “The 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will again make history as it debuts three impressive giant balloons, six over-the-top floats, an amazing array of talent and the most remarkable high school and college marching bands in the nation,” said executive producer Amy Kule. “This incredible cavalcade will make its way down 6th Avenue, a path that marks only the seventh time the parade has changed its route. And, as it has during turbulent times in our history, we hope the Macy’s Parade serves as a beacon of hope for all who tune in and gather with friends and family to give thanks this season, as they continue to heal from the devastating aftermath of super-storm Sandy."

Catch the televised parade on Thursday, Nov. 22, at 9 a.m. E.T. on NBC.

Check out this history and behind-the-scenes video of the parade released last year:


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