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77th on Seventy-Seventh; Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade(R) Still the Holiday Season Favorite.

NEW YORK, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- "Let's Have A Parade" is the phrase that has ignited the holiday season for 76 years, and this year is no different. At 9:00AM on November 27th 2.5 million New Yorkers lined along the streets and more than 60 million television viewers will tune-in nationwide to hear those famous words and watch as the 77th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade(R) steps off from 77th Street and Central Park West.

Leading the charge down Broadway through the streets of New York City to Herald Square is the bird of the day- Tom Turkey making a comeback as a balloon from the 1950's. And, as tradition would have it, pulling up the rear is none other than the man of the season, Santa Claus, with his magical sleigh and reindeer.

In between Tom and Santa are more than 200 characters, balloons and floats as well as more than 5,000 participants who all ensure that the show goes on come rain or shine. Kicking off the Parade with Robin Hall, the Parade's Producer will be athletes and medallists of Special Olympics New York, who'll help to cut the ribbon at Starting Line. Immediately following, ten high school and college marching bands from across the country; 15 giant helium character Balloons; 29 Floats and Falloons; eight special performance groups; 30 clown groups; ten large singing and theatrical groups and a host of celebrity performers, to name a few, jump on the band wagon and get the show on the road.

The Parade this year welcomes three new giant helium balloons including Americas' favorite feline, Garfield with trusted pal, Pooky; the happiest T-rex in town, "Strike-Up the Band" Barney(R) and the world's most lovable superhero, Super Grover. In addition, the Parade's freshman class also includes six sensational Floats that'll provide staging for Amica Insurance's, The American Classic Malt Shop; Ecko Unlimited's, Expedition to the Top of Rhino Mountain; Tadpole Entertainment's, Fun Abounds on the Big Comfy Couch; Amerada Hess Corporation's, Bridge To The Future; the United States Postal Service's, Spirit of America; and Marshmallow Peeps(R), A Celebration of the New Arrivals.

Robin Hall, executive producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade states, "The Parade is the opening act of Thanksgiving Day and the holiday season for Americans from coast-to-coast."

In addition to the new balloons and floats, the Parade will have some returning favorites. Arthur, Big Bird(TM), Charlie Brown & the Elusive Football, Cheesasaurus Rex(TM), Clifford The Big Red Dog(TM), Jimmy Neutron(TM), Kermit the Frog(TM), Little Bill(TM), Mr. Monopoly, Pikachu, Ronald McDonald(R) and the Wild Thing balloons will all make a comeback this year. Macy's will also fly vintage balloons, the Dachshund and Turkey and two types of specialty Balloons -- the Marx Brothers(TM) balloon heads, featuring Groucho, Chico & Harpo and Balloonheads Family, featuring Mama, Papa & Baby Balloonhead.

Returning Float favorites include World of A Christmas Carol, Angelina Ballerina, Animal Planet, Barney's(R) Musical Playground, Big Apple Float, Bob the Builder(TM) with Wendy & Muck, Carousel of Imagination, Cornucopia, greendog's(R) World, Jolly Polly Pirate Ship, Kids Candy Creation Lab, Marion Carol Showboat, M&M's(R) Network, Sesame Street, Statue of Liberty, Teddy Bear's Workshop, Wild West Express Train and of course -- the one-and-only Santa Claus and his Sleigh.

What's a Parade without a series of rousing marching bands? Parade enthusiasts will dance to the beat and cheer in their seats as nine high school and one college marching bands get to stepping toward Herald Square. The bands include Pinson Valley High of Alabama; Jones High of Florida; Lowndes High of Georgia; Roosevelt High of Hawaii; Bloomington High, North, of Indiana; Port Chester High of New York; Miami University of Ohio; Franklin Regional High of Pennsylvania; Colleyville Heritage High of Texas and Pulaski High of Wisconsin.

There can't be bands without cheerleaders, which is why more than 700 cheerleaders and dancers from across the country have come together on one day to form the worlds largest squad -- Mike Miller and Associates Universal Cheerleaders Association and Universal Dance Association. America Sings! with 850 high school and junior high school students will sing America's praises opening the Parade following the official ribbon cutting. Waiting-in-the wings, the cast of Camp Broadway says thanks for the memories, in a tribute to the late, great Bob Hope. Also joining the Parade is the Danza Fiesta Dance Company, which will add a lot of spice to this year's spectacular as they perform a traditional folk dance with giant puppets all the way down to Herald Square.

The Parade is a super-star in its own right but a few more "A-listers" won't hurt the line-up. This year the stars come out early to participate in the nation's great holiday season kick-off. The roster includes recording artists Aaron Carter, Peter Cincotti, Hilary Duff, Mya, Chicago, Kool & The Gang, America's idols Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, Judy Collins and Miss USA, Susie Castillo to name a few.

The Parade can be seen in its entirety simultaneously on NBC as well as Telemundo. The telecast will air from 9:00 AM to 12 Noon in each of the four time zones in the continental United States.

As Santa comes into view at the Parade's finale everyone knows that the holidays are officially here! Straight from the North Pole to Herald Square, Santa Claus, the Grand Marshall of the Parade, ushers in the season as his magnificent sleigh led by his famous reindeer rides into Herald Square.

Further information on the Parade can be obtained by calling Macy's Parade Hotline at (212) 494-4495 or via
 Macy's Publicity Office
 Elina Kazan/Deanna Williams/Orlando Veras/Katherine Wadhams
 (212) 494-4624/5450/3893/4660
 Pagers: (917) 906-3503 / (800) 513-4341 / (917) 782-3550/(917) 906-9782

CONTACT: Elina Kazan, +1-212-494-4624, pager, +1-917-906-3503, or Deanna Williams, +1-212-494-5450, pager, 1-800-513-4341, or Orlando Veras, +1-212-494-3893, pager, +1-917-782-3550, or Katherine Wadhams, +1-212-494-4660, or +1-917-906-9782, all of Macy's Publicity Office

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 24, 2003
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