Thanksgiving is right around the corner, early Black Friday sales are up and running, and that means it’s nearly time for one of the largest celebrated parades in the US to kick off: the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Personally, this is my favorite part of Thanksgiving Day; I always look forward to seeing the floats, balloons and performances each year.
This year’s broadcast includes a few small tweaks to the Thanksgiving Day typical agenda. Expect an earlier start time (see below), and some additional camera angles, but otherwise, the parade will function the same way it has for years. It will feature classic parade staples, like live performances from popular artists, floats, marching bands and Broadway performances.
If you’re a fan like me, or if you’re just looking to kill time while cooking Thanksgiving dinner, you’re in luck, as it will be pretty easy to stream the parade. Regardless of whether you plan to watch the festivities live in New York City or from the comfort (and warmth) of your own home, here’s everything you’ll need to know.
What time does the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade start?
The 97th Macy’s parade will air on Thursday, Nov. 23, at 8:30 a.m. ET (5:30 a.m. PT). If you’re not into an early wake-up on Thanksgiving Day, NBC and Peacock will air an encore at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT).
Just like last year, the parade will be hosted by Today’s Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker. Performers will include Jon Batiste, Brandy, Chicago, En Vogue, Ashley Park with the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Pentatonix and many others. Fans of Broadway will be treated to performances by the casts of & Juliet, Back to The Future: The Musical, How to Dance in Ohio, Shucked, Spamalot and, as per usual, the Radio City Rockettes.
Alongside all of the performances and floats, fan-favorite balloons like Bluey, Grogu and Pikachu will be returning to the parade this year, with new additions like Beagle Scout Snoopy and Kung Fu Panda’s Po joining the line-up.
Stream the Thanksgiving Day Parade on Peacock
The parade will simultaneously stream on Peacock and as a Spanish-language broadcast on Telemundo. It’s the cheapest streaming option to watch the event, and the platform is home to NBC and Telemundo content. After the parade, viewers can then stick around until the evening to catch the NFL matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks on Peacock.
Usually, Peacock will have a Black Friday special to discount prices. It hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ll update this story once the deal is live. For more, here’s how to prepare for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping this year.
Watch the parade on a live TV streaming service
If you’ve ditched cable, you can still catch this year’s parade with a subscription to a live TV streaming service like YouTube TV, Fubo or Sling. Bear in mind that NBC is only available in select cities on Sling Blue or Sling Blue + Orange subscriptions.
How to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade using a VPN
Perhaps you’re traveling abroad and want to stream Peacock while away from home. With a VPN, you’re able to virtually change your location on your phone, tablet or laptop to get access to the parade from anywhere in the world. There are other good reasons to use a VPN for streaming too.
A VPN is the best way to stop your ISP from throttling your speeds by encrypting your traffic. Using a VPN is also a great idea if you’re traveling and find yourself connected to a Wi-Fi network and want to add an extra layer of privacy for your devices and logins. Streaming TV can be a bit smoother with a reliable, quality VPN that’s passed our tests and security standards.
You can use a VPN to stream content legally as long as VPNs are allowed in your country and you have a valid subscription to the streaming service you’re using. The US and Canada are among the countries where VPNs are legal, but we advise against streaming or downloading content on illegal torrent sites. We recommend ExpressVPN, but you may opt for another provider from our best list such as Surfshark or NordVPN.
Follow the VPN provider’s instructions for installation and choose a country where the parade will be streaming on Peacock (i.e. the US). Before you open the streaming app, make sure you’re connected to your VPN using your selected region. If you want to stream the event on more than one device, it’s possible you’ll need to configure each one to ensure you are signed in. Go to settings and check your network connections to verify you’re logged in and connected to your VPN account. Now you’re ready to open Peacock to stream.
If you run into issues with streaming, first make sure your VPN is up and running on its encrypted IP address. Double-check that you’ve followed installation instructions correctly and you’ve picked the right geographical area for viewing. If you still encounter connection problems, you may need to reboot your device. Close all apps and windows, restart your device and connect to your VPN first. Note that some streaming services have restrictions on VPN access.