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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature 4 new balloons — get a sneak peek

The parade will make its way down New York City’s Sixth Avenue in less than two weeks.

The countdown to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is on!

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, Weekend TODAY has a sneak peek at the brand-new balloons that will be on display during the annual event.

Macy's executive producer Will Coss shared all the details on the new additions from BalloonFest at Citi Field.

"We’ve got a full show: 10 marching bands, 15 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 30-plus heritage balloons, and a whole host of performances," Coss said. "Really excited to be back in full form.” 

New balloons this year will include pop culture icon Grogu, better known as Baby Yoda, from “The Mandalorian,” and a new Pokemon balloon featuring both Pikachu and Eevee that honors the beloved series’ 25th anniversary.

Macy's unveils new giant character balloons for the 95th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 13 in New York City. Soaring into NYC is a Funko Pop! inspired Grogu (a.k.a. Baby Yoda in pop culture), from the beloved Star Wars series The Mandalorian. Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images for Macy's
Pikachu and Eevee of Pokemon return to the parade with a new balloon for its 25th anniversary.Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images for Macy's

Other new balloons will include a giant Ada Twist from the book and Netflix series "Ada Twist, Scientist" and a new version of McDonald's Ronald McDonald balloon.


Ada, the pint-sized scientist from the popular Netflix series "Ada Twist, Scientist," sets off on her first parade adventure this Thanksgiving.Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images for Macy's
The world’s most famous clown returns to the Big Apple with a new look. This is his fifth design since he first joined the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1987. In this version, Ronald is sharing his heart and inspiring spectators to “see a smile, share a smile.” Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images for Macy's

It takes dozens of people to prepare for the parade: 27 painters, carpenters, sculptors, welders, animators, designers, electricians and engineers all work more than 8,000 hours to create the colorful floats and bobbing balloons. Hundreds of handlers then walk the balloons along the 2 1/2-mile parade route.

After last year's parade was altered due to the coronavirus pandemic, Coss said they're excited to have the full parade on display for its 95th year.

In addition the balloons and floats, viewers will be treated to music performances from stars like Carrie Underwood, Kristin Chenoweth and Kelly Rowland. Ten marching bands will play in the parade, and Broadway shows like "Six" and "Wicked" will perform for the crowd.

“We’re really excited. We’re back, we’re live, we’re back in New York City,” Coss said. “We’re really excited to bring this cherished tradition of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade back to New York City and back to America.”

The parade will air on Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in all time zones on NBC, and will be available on Peacock and Telemundo at the same time. The celebration will be hosted by TODAY's Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker.

An encore of the parade will air from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

CORRECTION (Nov. 16, 2021, 10:09 a.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the number of new balloons in this year's parade. There will be four, not six, new giant character balloons.