Moonachie, N.J. — A feast for your stomach — and for your eyes. That’s the theme of a festive creation, the Heinz Gravy Pirate boat, a completely new element for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route.

“It’s a 'floalloonicle.' So it's part float, part 'balloonicle,'” said Will Coss, the executive producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. "So it’s got an interior structure and sort of s stage for our talent on top. But it also has a balloon element, which is the actual pirate ship itself."

Inside a warehouse in Moonachie, New Jersey is where the magic happens: Six new floats will join the fleet of now 28 floats in the 95th annual parade.

What You Need To Know

  • Six of the 28 floats on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route are brand new

  • The first of its kind Heinz Gravy Pirate Boat is a “floalloonicle”

  • The hybrid creation is part balloon, part float, part vehicle

  • The parade will have a live audience this year, after the COVID-19 pandemic scaled the production down in 2020

“We have a long history of creating really impressive artistic elements,” Coss said. "Every year we challenge ourselves. What can we do a little differently? How can we continue to build on our really great tradition?"

The tradition goes live on the peacock float, which also doubles as the parade's first livestream. It has two cameras to give a bird's eye view of the spectacle:

A Louisiana-themed float brings a little Mardi Gras to Manhattan:

Kalahari features a colorful elephant family designed by a South African artist:

And Minnie Mouse greets spectators from a Disney cruise line ship:

While the new designs will keep parade-goers on their toes, some traditions will stay the same, like Santa Claus ending the parade and welcoming in the holiday season.

“Santa will close us out, as he has for the 95 years of our history,” Coss said.

Coss says there is extra excitement surrounding this year's parade because there was no in-person audience in 2020. The parade itself was scaled down, with a shorter route due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s one of those really unique opportunities to not only celebrate a milestone but also celebrate that we are back,” Coss said. "We’re back to the streets of New York. We’re back to the parade as we know it, in its full form."

The new floats and dozens of other favorites will be on display on the parade route next Thursday, Nov. 25.


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