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Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Deflated balloons and low-energy performances miss the mark for the 97th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

A Paw Patrol balloon flies high in the sky  in front of Radio City Music Hall.
Photo by Creative Commons
A Paw Patrol balloon flies high in the sky in front of Radio City Music Hall.

an This year was the 97th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Love it or hate it, it is iconic. The parade has been a staple in the Yudt household for my entire life. I love waking up every year and staying in my pajamas to critique the balloons, floats and horribly lip-synced performances while my dad stresses and slaves away in the kitchen. I love feeling like a kid again, waiting for Santa to arrive on the last float and officially kick off the Christmas season. 

Growing up and watching the parade was actually part of what made me want to be a journalist. I loved watching Al Roker’s live report on the streets of the parade and trying to fly a balloon. I loved seeing Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb’s interactions. The range of these journalists was an inspiration to me, and watching the parade holds an extra special place in my heart. 

This year, two additional live reporters were added: actors Josh Gad and Andrew Rannels. They provided extra comedic relief, continuously stopping the parade to talk and interact with the performers and balloon handlers. We loved and cringed when they stopped the Spirit of America Cheerleaders in their tracks and asked them to teach them a cheer routine, acting like they were not world-class performers themselves. Josh Gad also handled the Snoopy Balloon. Unfortunately, once the parade reached 43rd Street, Gad and Rannels were nowhere to be seen. 

The favorite float of the Howard-Bellamy household was the Sesame Street Float. It’s nice to see the new additions of the balloons and the floats, such as Bluey and her Keepy Puppy Balloon and Po from the upcoming Kung-Fu Panda film, but it’s always a joy to see classic television characters, specifically Big Bird, grace the screen every year. 

The favorite float in the Yudt household was the Wonka float. I am not excited about the new movie, as the trailer looks very cringy and I am so tired of cash-grabbing prequels and sequels. However, I did love this float, as it was very colorful, had a lot of moving parts and had a tasteful amount of holiday decor. My favorite balloon was also the Bluey balloon. I love seeing new colorful characters added to the lineup. However, I could have done without the Greg Heffley balloon. I know he is an icon, and the books are very reminiscent of my childhood as well, but I do not think 10-year-olds today even know who he is nor care to see another monochrome balloon. 

Some of the balloons had seen better Thanksgiving Day Parades, which made no sense because it was 45 degrees with no wind. Snoopy, Migration’s Uncle Dan, One Piece’s Monkey D. Luffy and Greg Heffley were deflated and flying very low to the ground. Broken-neck Geoffrey the Giraffe was briefly shown at the beginning of the parade, but they were able to fix him before the end of the performance. Imagine being a child and seeing a beheaded Geoffrey. As college students, this sight was truly traumatizing. The balloons are the most important and iconic part of the parade. It was like Thanksgiving without turkey. 

Now, let’s get to the performances. What in the world was the corn performance? If you have not seen it, we suggest you look it up because it is a whirlwind to describe. “Shucked” is a musical that debuted on Broadway in 2022. It’s all about corn, which the performance made very clear, as one of the lyrics of the title song “Corn” was “corn, the same going in as coming out.” The brilliant Alex Newell was the main performer and the performance’s saving grace. Even though Newell’s performance included lip-syncing, they still made an impact on the screen. Newell was given a spotlight,being separated from the performers and the crowd. The performance ended with the cast doing an updated Charlie Chaplin breadstick table act. Instead of breadsticks, it was corn, and the whole cast was in on the performance. We did appreciate the nod to the TikTok icon, the Corn Kid. Needless to say, we both would have felt confused whether to clap or not had we been attending in person. 

Another weird thing this year was the announcer promoting Beyonce the entire show, just for her to have a five-second pre-recorded clip introducing a trailer for a documentary for her “Renaissance” album and tour. Her name was displayed at the beginning of the show and introduced with all the other performers. She did not even have a Thanksgiving message like other celebrities. 

Other performers included John Batiste, k-pop group Enhypen, 90s rap trio Bell Biv DeVoe, Chicago, Cher, and of course, Christmas legends and multiple-time parade performers Pentatonix. One performer that we did not want to see was Jimmy Fallon and The Roots. No hate, but how in the world does Fallon get to perform every year? He is not a singer, nor a good one for that matter. The band does slap and is very talented, and they should let one of them lead in the song. Fallon also had a guitar in this performance and did not even try to fake-play it. The whole performance felt very staged and was a waste of time, even though each performance was barely one minute. 

Overall, this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was pretty good, despite basically every float, balloon and performer having something to advertise. 

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