Meet Some of the Team Who Bring the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to Life

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the nation’s most iconic holiday traditions. Each year, more than 3.5 million spectators attend the Parade in New York City, and over 50 million television viewers tune-in from home nationwide. We also have a large Macy’s team working behind the scenes to get our Parade to 34th St. each year.   

Our Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade would not be possible without the efforts and creativity of our incredibly talented Macy's colleagues. Our team of 27 painters, animators, sculptors, welders, scenic/costume designers, electricians and engineers in the Macy’s Parade Studio work 50,000+ rigorous hours to make this event happen! On the day of the Parade almost 4,000 colleagues including their friends and family volunteer and participate. From balloon technicians and celebrity logistics, to our thousands of volunteers, the team works hard year-round to make the Macy’s Parade even bigger and better.

Watch these behind the scenes videos to see what it takes to bring the Macy’s Parade to life.

Coast to Coast caught up with some of the team behind the Parade to learn more about the magic behind the Parade.


Darlene Peaco | Production Assistant

This will be my 6th Macy’s Parade and my role has varied. I’ve managed balloon training, attended our famed Clown U, and helped with the Macy’s Singing Tree. My favorite part each year is helping set up the kids to get ready to go down the Parade route.

Before the Parade, one of my favorite moments is watching all of the amazing entertainment rehearsals. From Broadway shows to our talented marching bands, it is an awesome experience. This year, I am the most excited to see my nephew, Brian, participate in the Parade.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade inspires me because it is a one of a kind experience with a focus on family and holiday traditions. People from across the nation are watching the Parade – whether in person or in front of their TV. There is something very special about bringing everyone together.

Eric Hudspeth | Manager, Creative Design & Studio Innovation

This year will be my 13th Parade! I am a sculptor, fabricator, designer and the Creative Production Manager at our Parade Studio in New Jersey. My favorite part of Parade preparations is the extraordinary energy and hard work that happens when everyone comes together to make the Parade happen.

The people I work with inspire me. Even though the Parade is a tremendous amount of work, everyone rises to the challenge and successfully completes a seemingly impossible task.

Tina Pfefferkorn | Balloon Technician

This will be my 5th Parade. I am a balloon technician and I get to build, prep, and innovate all things balloons. The best part of the balloon preparations is when we get all of our balloons and floats packed and sent over to the Parade route. With the amount of preparation and organization behind that, it is a nice feeling to know we are almost ready for show time!

I am very excited about the new balloons this year. I love balloons that are characters from my childhood. This year, my favorite balloon is Olaf, and my all-time favorite is Buzz Lightyear. I love the fact that younger audiences watching the Parade can see a larger-than-life balloon of their favorite character flying high. All of the giant balloons feature a favorite character of mine, so I cannot wait to see them make their way through New York City!

Knowing how many people watch and love the Parade, I am inspired to always try to do better each year. Finding ways to better myself and my work is both challenging and rewarding but knowing that my work is being shown to millions, I always try to exceed expectations.

Brett Bartley | Celebrity Escort Committee

This will be my 22nd Parade. I am one of the colleague volunteers on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Committee. I oversee the Celebrity Escort Program, which is a critical link between the Celebrity Talent featured in the Parade.

My favorite part of the Parade is really seeing all of our hard work come together perfectly. Although my role is focused on the logistics of our Celebrity Talent and escort volunteers, there comes a time where each piece of the Parade (including my part) comes together seamlessly.

Each year, the Parade is exciting for me! I am eager to see the new floats and balloons in person the morning of the Parade. I also really look forward to meeting the volunteers who work with me on Parade Day.

Once we have placed the last Celebrity Talent on their float, the team and I ride down the parade route to meet downtown. Every year, it is truly remarkable to see the joyous magic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade gives to spectators of all ages lined up from 77th Street all the way down to 34th Street.

Learn more about this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and be sure to tune in to NBC on Thursday, November 28, 2019 from 9 am – noon.