Thanksgiving Day Parade: A Surprise Casting Call

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the kickoff to the holiday season. Over the decades, the inspiring spirt of the parade keeps us warm while we watch it in chilly November. This year, Macy’s has planned a big surprise for the first time in parade history.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a time-honored tradition, but this year, we’ll have a special surprise. Every year, parade watchers from around the country look forward to the moment when Santa makes his debut, closing the parade with its grand finale. This year, a living Christmas tree will create a musical moment right before Santa arrives. The Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree Choir, comprised of approximately 175 Macy’s Associates, will sing live on national television and will be positioned in the shape of a giant, 360-degree Christmas tree.

The Macy’s team is already at work designing the scenic float and writing a brand new song to debut by the choir on Thanksgiving morning.

Coast to Coast sat down to interview Wesley Whatley, creative director, Macy’s Parade and Entertainment Group, to learn more about this exciting surprise.

Where did the idea for the Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree Choir come from?

Music is a huge highlight during the holidays and a big part of what makes this time of year so special and so fun, especially when we gather together and sing carols. The Macy’s Parade team wanted to create a special holiday musical moment right before Santa arrives, and celebrate the spirit of singing in unity.

The parade, especially Santa’s arrival, signals the kickoff to the holiday season. We wanted to capture the spirit of the holidays in a really big and exciting way this year, so we’ve programed an emotional choral performance moment right before Santa’s big arrival, as a way of sparking that inspiring spirit on parade morning.

How does this choir represent who we are as a company?

Macy’s used to have a choir called the Macy Singers in the 1950s. The choir was a group of Macy’s workers from New York City who even recorded an album. So the idea of a Macy’s choir is in our heritage. This year, we’re re-imagining that choral history. What better way to kick off the holiday season than by joining together as a Macy’s family lifting our voices in song? It’s symbolic of who we are: working together as one big Macy’s family to really deliver the holiday spirit. People know and come to Macy’s from around the country to experience the spirit of the holidays. It’s important that Macy’s Associates come together and lead that conversation and demonstrate that spirit for the rest of the country.

What’s the significance of a choir made up of Macy’s Associates?

The parade was first created by volunteers back in 1924. The idea of a Macy’s choir, volunteering, uniting, coming together to sing, is very much in the spirit of Macy’s. We value our Associates and the hard work our teams give every season and this is a way for us to give back to our Associates. This is our way of showing our gratitude on a day when it’s all about being grateful and thankful to our hard-working Associates. That just feels right.


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