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How Much Does the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Cost?

Photo by Vladan Raznatovic via Unsplash

How Much Does the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Cost?

By Movieguide® Contributor

According to The Street, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade “is the biggest parade on Earth,” and it costs a fortune.

“Each year, the massive floats, glittery costumes, and other parade expenses top $13 million. That makes this extravagant display more costly than the Capitol Fourth’s Independence Day fireworks ($7 million), and Times Square’s New Year’s Eve ball drop ($2.4 million),” The Street reported.

At five or six stories high, the massive parade balloons require 300-700,000 cubic feet of helium. CBS reported that filling all the balloons costs at least $510,000. That doesn’t include the $200,000 construction and parade fee businesses must pay for new balloons.

And then there’s the floats.

Floats “on display at the Macy’s parade can take four to nine months to get from concept to completion. In 2017, a total of 26 extravagant floats were in the parade, with average construction costs ranging from $30,000 to $100,000 for each float,” CBS reported.

Macy’s costumes for balloon handlers, float riders and other parade participants cost around $2 million, per Market Realist.

To store all of these balloons, floats and costumes, Macy uses a 72,000-square-foot studio. The annual taxes are a hefty sum of $138,573.

“It takes 10,000 people to put on an event of the magnitude of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, most of which are volunteers,” The Street reported. “However, 26 full-time staffers and 14 temporary workers are paid a combined total of $1.3 million to make it all happen. Painters, construction workers, metal workers, and sculptors are just a few of the vital roles that must be filled.”

Security for the national event falls under the New York Police Department, which The Street says “have hundreds of officers on duty for the event. This includes weapons teams, K9 dogs, drones, radiological and chemical sensors, blockades in place, and scores of surveillance cameras — all of which must cost the city a pretty penny.” However, the NYPD does not release how much this costs.

In total, all of this parade preparation adds up to over $13 million.

Movieguide® previously reported on the 2023 parade lineup:

The 97th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is coming up on November 23 with an exciting new line-up of performers and floats.

The parade will begin a half hour earlier this year than previous years, starting at 8:30 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. 

“In addition to Cher, who recently released ‘Christmas,’ her first holiday album ever, Batiste and the Broadway productions, the Thanksgiving event will include appearances and performances by, among others, Bell Biv DeVoe; Brandy; En Vogue; David Foster and Katharine McPhee; Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors; Jessie James Decker; U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalist Jessica Long; Ashley Park with the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street; Pentatonix; and, of course, the Radio City Rockettes,” Deadline reported

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