As America’s way of kicking off the holiday season, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been making holiday memories and inspiring tradition for 92 years. One of our newest Parade traditions is the Singing Christmas Tree float. Started in 2017, the float holds more than 100 Macy’s and Delta colleagues, hand-selected to perform an original song in front of 3.5 million live spectators in New York City and more than 50 million television viewers nationwide.
In its debut year, the Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree was the second-most beloved float in all of the Parade, trailing close behind Santa. This year, we asked: How do you make something so impactful, even better?
Paul Lopacinski, Senior Manager, Creative Production, was the perfect person to make this happen. As someone who is not afraid to roll up his sleeves, Paul, along with the talented team at the Parade Studio, brought a number of new, exciting float elements to life:
This year, the over 30-foot-tall float was covered from top-to-bottom in textured greenery and sparkling lights for a sophisticated look. The drum of the tree was dressed in gold ribbon fringe that danced elegantly as the float made its way down the Parade route. Outlined in lights and completely encrusted in glitter, a red star tree topper completed the look.
The singers traveled to New York City from Macy’s stores, offices and facilities across the nation. To stay connected, they communicated through an app created especially for them, complete with a messaging feed, scheduling for their New York adventures, a “selfie station”, and a place to practice virtually.
“We Believe in the Wonder of Giving,” is an original song written and composed by Macy’s own Wesley Whatley, VP Creative Producer.
We sat down with Wesley to understand what it means to create an original piece for such an iconic event: “We love to create special musical moments in our show. Over the years, we’ve found that introducing original holiday songs really resonates with our audience. America is ready, on Thanksgiving, to kick off the giving season. In order to set up Santa’s arrival, we connect with our audience emotionally by reminding them what the season is all about.”
We asked: How do we leverage our position as America’s Department Store to incorporate fashion? The result was a partnership with Charter Club and Club Room, Macy’s Private Brands.
We selected pieces from the fall collections of both brands that incorporated red, black and white color palette. The Club Room snowflake sweater in red was made custom for the singing tree and was available in stores, but in blue.
The singers, who came together for the first time just days before Parade, created one voice. Here’s what they had to say following the Singing Christmas Tree experience:
– James Austin, tenor and Flex Team Colleague from Maxton, NC
– Rose Greer, alto and Lancôme Manager from Lafayette, IN
– Anette Mugambi-Muite, alto and Sales Associate from Saint James, NY
The Singing Christmas Tree is the result of a combination of design, logistics, engineering, and musical genius – all made possible by Macy’s colleagues.
Check out the video below to see them in action!