26 Celebrities Who've Been in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

by Julie Sprankles
Nov 19, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Each year, people flock to the streets of New York City or crowd around the TV from the coziness of home to watch one of the most highly anticipated events of the year: the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Since its inception in 1924, the parade has become a holiday tradition held in the utmost regard. (Fun fact: The first Macy’s parade was actually held on Christmas Day!) It’s grown as integral to Thanksgiving as turkey and cranberry sauce in American households. While the parade was originally designed as a clever marketing gimmick to bring new customers to Macy’s, it’s evolved into a symbol of the season.

So it’s not surprising that celebrities can’t resist the nostalgic allure of this special event, either. From Tony Bennett to Ariana Grande, Whoopi Goldberg to Shawn Mendes, stars descend upon the Big Apple on Thanksgiving Day each year to participate in this bucket-list tradition.

1 /26: Ariana Grande

1/26 :Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande did her best to stay warm during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksiving Day Parade, where she performed the song "Last Christmas." 

2 /26: Brett Eldredge

2/26 :Brett Eldredge

Looking dapper at the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, country crooner Brett Eldredge belted out the holiday classic "Let It Snow." 

3 /26: Carly Rae Jepsen

3/26 :Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen rocked the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2012 by performing her hit single "This Kiss." Bonus? The singer made fighting off the frigid air look stylish in a chic, eclectic ensemble. 

4/26 :Daya

Not many people could stay focused atop an NHL float surrounded by men on unicycles juggling. But Daya did and then some at the parade in 2016, where she slayed while performing her song "Words."  

5 /26: Gene Simmons

5/26 :Gene Simmons

It's not a real party until Gene Simmons sticks his tongue out! The rocker and the rest of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Kiss drove the crowd crazy performing their classic "Rock and Roll All Nite." 

6 /26: Grace VanderWaal

6/26 :Grace VanderWaal

America's Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal rode atop the Goldieblox float in 2016 while strumming her trademark ukelele and singing "I Don't Know My Name." 

7/26 :Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel, the voice of Frozen's Elsa, did her best not to, you know, freeze during her rendition of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" from her album Holiday Wishes

8 /26: Jennette McCurdy

8/26 :Jennette McCurdy

Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy cruised along on the Goldfish float for her first parade appearance in 2012. 

9 /26: Debby Ryan

9/26 :Debby Ryan

Disney star Debby Ryan told MTV of riding on a float in the parade, "It's crazy and surreal and definitely one of those bucket-list moments." 

10/26 :Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks wasn't going to let frigid temps keep her from delivering a stellar show! The singer got the crowd moving with her upbeat performance of "Right Here, Right Now."

11 /26: Kellie Pickler

11/26 :Kellie Pickler

Wearing Badgley Mischka and looking every bit the belle of the ball, country cutie Kellie Pickler sang her twangy hit single "Little Bit Gypsy" at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013. 

12 /26: Jimmy Fallon

12/26 :Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon and the Roots shared a float with the Sesame Street gang for a truly one-of-a-kind performance of "Somebody Come and Play." 

13 /26: Jennifer Nettles

13/26 :Jennifer Nettles

Country superstar Jennifer Nettles couldn't have picked a better song to perform during the 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. While riding the Domino's Sugar float, she belted out her hit single "Sugar." Cute!

14 /26: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

14/26 :Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar marched in the festivities at the 85th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

15 /26: Mariah Carey

15/26 :Mariah Carey

Although Mariah Carey looked like the Queen of Christmas at the parade in 2015, fans had a fit after she reportedly lip-synced her way through the OG version of her holiday hit "All I Want for Christmas Is You." 

16/26 :Kelsea Ballerini

Country darling Kelsea Ballerini dazzled at the parade in 2016, where she delivered a stunning performance of her smash hit "Peter Pan." 

17/26 :Lucy Hale

The always adorable Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars fame made an appearance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to indulge her other passion: music. Hale sang the song "Lie a Little Better" from her debut country album. 

18 /26: Kristin Chenoweth

18/26 :Kristin Chenoweth

Petite powerhouse Kristin Chenoweth is an endless source of entertainment, as evidenced by her super-spirited performance of "New York, New York" at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013.

19 /26: Meghan Trainor

19/26 :Meghan Trainor

Pop princess Meghan Trainor didn't disappoint at the parade in 2014 with a fun and feisty rendition of her hit single "Lips Are Moving." 

20 /26: Sabrina Carpenter

20/26 :Sabrina Carpenter

Girl Meets World star Sabrina Carpenter made her first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade appearance in 2014, and the actress-singer is set to perform in this year's as well. 

21 /26: Richard Simmons

21/26 :Richard Simmons

Exercise guru Richard Simmons couldn't contain his excitment at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013, during which he did cart aerobics and gushed over Kellie Pickler. 

22 /26: Shawn Mendes

22/26 :Shawn Mendes

You could practically hear the preteen girls swooning when Shawn Mendes performed his hit single "Stitches" at the 89th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

23 /26: Tony Bennett

23/26 :Tony Bennett

You know it's a good day in the universe when icons Tony Bennett and Miss Piggy team up for a performance of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." 

24 /26: Whoopi Goldberg

24/26 :Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg took a break from her cohosting duties at The View to partake of this classic holiday celebration by greeting parade-goers from atop a festive float. 

25 /26: Trace Adkins

25/26 :Trace Adkins

Country officially came to town (aka NYC) for the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Trace Adkins and a slew of other top county stars performed on the special day. 

26 /26: Zendaya

26/26 :Zendaya

Zendaya made herself at home on the Build-a-Bear float, where she introduced her single "Dig Down Deeper."