There’s plenty to see every year at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade between floats and performances – including an impressive Broadway lineup.
The parade tradition goes back nearly a century, when Macy’s Manhattan flagship store held its first holiday parade on Thanksgiving morning in 1924, hoping to attract shoppers for Christmas shopping. The parade has grown and evolved into the hour-long event filled with sky-high balloons, celebrity performers, and festive floats we know today.
It’s no surprise that Broadway, known for its spectacular performances that see many travel the world, stole the show at the parade this Thanksgiving.
‘Funny Girl’ Lea Michele opened the parade
The 96th Annual Parade kicked off with a perfect performance of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” led by Lea Michele, who currently stars in Broadway’s “Funny Girl,” along with her fellow cast members.
She gave the song a celebratory spin, swapping a lyric about “Mr. Arnstein” for “Hey Mister Macy’s, here I am.”
Many fans took to Twitter to praise the performance that opened the parade.
“Having Lea Michele open the #MacysThanksgivingDayParade was PERFECT,” wrote @RJGordon101.
“Lea Michele is stupidly talented,” added @casxcfc.
Others, however, weren’t so thrilled with the former “Glee” star’s parade opening.
“Macy’s parade would be better if it didn’t start with Lea Michele,” @terkzz wrote.
Thanksgiving 2022:Kathie Lee Gifford, Barack and Michelle Obama celebrate Turkey Day
‘Lion King’ impresses with ‘Circle of Life’ performance
The cast of “The Lion King” also put on an act, performing “Circle of Life” and amazed viewers.
The performance came shortly after the show celebrated 25 years on Broadway earlier this month. It ranks among the “most successful musical of all time,” Hoda Kotb, host of “Today” fellow Savannah Guthrie, said ahead of the performance.
It has been seen by more than 112 million people, Kotb said.
Viewers shared their ratings of the performance.
“It never makes me cry tears of joy. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!” wrote Alex Cochrane in the comments section of the performance’s official YouTube video.
Chris Witherspoon shared a similar experience on Twitter: “I was just crying watching that The Lion King performance. I needed that. #MacysParade.”
‘Some Like It Hot’, Rockettes, more performances at the Macy’s Parade
Other numbers, which took place in a viewing area near Macy’s flagship on New York City’s Herald Square, of Broadway shows included demonstrations of “A Beautiful Noise”, “Some Like It Hot”, “Moulin Rouge”, “Aladdin and “Six.”
The Radio City Rockettes also appeared, showing off their signature kickline.
Contributors: Wyatte Grantham-Philips