Wednesday, November 24, 2021

SpongeBob, PAW Patrol, Blue's Clues, The Smurfs and Ryan's World to Take Center Stage at 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's has announced that the SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary and Chase from PAW Patrol balloons as well as the Blue's Clues & You! float will be part of the 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Also making a return to this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be the Red Titan from "Ryan's World" balloon, first introduced in 2020, and Papa Smurf from The Smurfs!

Update (11/1) - Blue's Clues hosts Josh Dela Cruz, Steve Burns & Donovan Patton will be performers on the Blue's Clues & You! float! They'll perform “You Can’t Spell Blue without YOU” on the float alongside a 22-foot-tall Blue covered in 13 pounds of glitter, on Thursday, Nov. 25, in the TV presentation.

In an expansion of Nickelodeon’s partnership with Save the Children, the national leader in helping children prepare for and succeed in school across rural America, the organization will be Nick’s prosocial partner for its second annual “Blue Friday,” a day of giving and learning on Friday, Nov. 19. Nickelodeon has made a donation to Save the Children to support early learning opportunities for kids in need, and through Blue’s Clues & You!, will continue to help the nonprofit provide learning opportunities and education materials to kids and families in the U.S. with its early childhood education programs. The educational hub,, has resources for parents including learning materials, math and science curriculum videos, Blue’s Clues & You! activity sheets and more. Across America and around the world, Save the Children gives children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. For over 100 years, the nonprofit has been committed to addressing children’s unique and unmet needs, working to ensure they thrive as learners and in life.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a couple of fixtures missing from this years Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Nickelodeon's Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Shimmer & Shine floats and the Red Power Ranger balloon, the latter two were also missing from last year's parade.

Following last year’s made for television celebration, the official kick-off to the holiday season will take to the streets of Manhattan on Thursday, November 25th beginning at 9:00 a.m. On Thanksgiving Day, the spectacle will once again delight New York City spectators and a national television audience with its signature mix of giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, marching bands, performance groups, celebrities, clowns, and the one-and-only Santa Claus.

“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a New York City institution for more than nine decades, growing to become an icon of American pop culture as it annually marks the official start of the holiday season,” said Will Coss, Executive Producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “For our 95th celebration, we are delighted to return this cherished holiday tradition closer to its original form as we march down the streets of New York City and into the homes of a nationwide audience.”

“We are thrilled to welcome back in its full form the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a world-renowned celebration that ushers in the magic of being in New York City during the holiday season,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We applaud Macy’s work to creatively continue this beloved tradition last year and look forward to welcoming back Parade watchers to experience it safely, live and in person this November.”

To once again safely produce the annual Thanksgiving Day celebration, Macy’s partnered closely with the City and State of New York to create an event production plan that would ensure health and safety practices are aligned with current CDC guidelines, as well as local and state government protocols.

The health and well-being of participants and spectators continues to be Macy’s number one priority.

Following the most up-to-date health guidelines, the City of New York will manage public viewing locations and safety procedures along designated portions of the route with access details to be announced.

For its participants and staff, Macy’s will put in place several health and safety procedures across all areas of the production.

2021 Health & Safety procedures include, but are not limited to the following:

  • All volunteer participants and staff will be vaccinated. Vaccine verification will be conducted at all back of house entry points. A few exceptions to this procedure may be made at the sole discretion of Macy’s and its medical consultant based on select extenuating circumstances. For those rare instances, Macy’s medical consultant will administer COVID-19 testing and clear the individual for Parade participation.
  • All participants and staff regardless of vaccination status will wear face coverings and additional protective equipment, as warranted by their role. As appropriate, exceptions may include singers, dancers and musicians performing down the route or for the national broadcast.
  • Macy’s will implement a reduction in the overall number of participants of between 10 to 20 percent (approximately 800 to 1,600 participants).
  • Social distancing practices will be in place at all interior/exterior Parade operations including costuming areas, seating and participant check-in.
  • Following the successful live audience production of this year’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the safe production of last year’s Parade celebration, Macy’s along with its government agency and health partners will continue to monitor evolving health trends and will be ready to implement contingency plans should conditions warrant.

2021 Macy’s Parade initial production plan (subject to change):

  • Marching band, cheer and specialty group performances originally slated for the 2020 Parade will take place this year live in New York City.
  • Macy’s signature giant character balloons will once again be flown with 80-100 handlers, the flight management team and its anchor vehicle.
  • The return of Macy’s Balloon Inflation event is currently under consideration. More information will be announced in November.
  • Details on the exact public viewing locations including viewing maps, entry guidelines and restrictions will be announced in November. Spectators are encouraged to check in advance of their travel to the Parade route.

The 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air nationwide on NBC-TV, Thursday, November 25, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to noon, in all time zones. For more information visit To follow and participate in the excitement, check out @macys on various social platforms and follow #MacysParade.

About Nickelodeon's Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons and floats:

SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary Balloon

SpongeBob SquarePants is all smiles as he returns to make his 17th appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 2004, optimistic sea sponge made history as the Parade’s first-ever square balloon and this year, In 2019, SpongeBob returned from his parade hiatus to take to the sky with his pet snail Gary in tow. The brand-new SpongeBob balloon takes on his unique shape with the help of more than 800 internal tie-lines that pull the single chamber sphere balloon into a square. Get ready for some F-U-N!

By the numbers:

  • 44 feet tall or as high as a 4 story building
  • 46 feet long or as long as 8 bicycles
  • 36 feet wide or as wide as 7 taxis
Fun facts:

  • This is SpongeBob’s third balloon in the Parade; he made his first appearance in 2004 & was redesigned for his second balloon in 2013. SpongeBob was also the first square balloon in the Parade.
  • SpongeBob is so popular he’s mentioned on social media every five seconds!

Chase from PAW Patrol Balloon:

Hailing all the way from Adventure Bay, this fearless rescue pup from the number-one preschool series, PAW Patrol, is ready to come to the ruff-ruff-rescue and show the citizens of New York that “no job is too big, no pup is too small.” The German Shepherd will journey from Adventure Bay to Manhattan’s skyline as a giant character helium balloon. Making its maiden flight in 2017, the balloon features Chase donning his signature navy blue police uniform.

By the numbers:

  • 43 feet tall or as high as a 4 story building
  • 60 feet long or as long as 10 bicycles
  • 36 feet wide or as wide as 7 taxis
Fun fact:

  • Chase’s hat could cover an actual police squad car & his paws are larger than two full-grown Great Dane dogs.

The Smurfs

Dancing his way down the route again, decked out in his signature red hat & boots to celebrate the Smurfs 40th anniversary, is Papa Smurf! Clutching his cane & clicking his heels to the delight of fans who are thrilled that the Smurfs series returned to their screens with all-new adventures this fall on Nickelodeon, proving once more that “you can’t keep a good Smurf down.”

By the numbers:

  • 51 feet tall or as high as a 4 story building
  • 43 feet long or as long as 7 bicycles
  • 36 feet wide or as wide as 7 taxis
Fun fact:

  • There is nothing small about this version of Papa Smurf; he is taller than a four-story building.

Blue's Clues & You! Float

Nickelodeon is celebrating 25 years of Blue’s Clues, & they can’t spell Blue without Y-O-U! Preschoolers go on an interactive adventure to find clues with Josh. Or Joe. Or Steve! And here come all three of them, taking a break from filming their upcoming movie set right here in the Big Apple to skidoo down the Parade route on their fantastic float.

Fun Fact:

  • Blue has been marking clues in the Parade since 1999; she’s been both a balloon & a float.

Performer: TBA

Red Titan from Ryan's World Balloon
Sunlight Entertainment &

Swooping in to save the day this holiday season is Red Titan, the brave and kind alter-ego of Ryan from Ryan’s World and Ryan's Mystery Playdate. This larger-than-life, pint-sized superhero is making his second Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade appearance this year.

Red Titan Ryan as a GIANT Balloon in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade | Ryan's World

Red Titan Ryan as a GIANT Balloon in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Fun Family Tradition to watch with the whole family on Nov 25th!

Originally published: October 07, 2021 at 19:48 BST.

H/T: Special thanks to AKA Royal Smurf for the news!; Additional sources: Country Living, Business Wire, USA Today.

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