Gwen Stefani, Nicky Jam & More Highlights From Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Gwen Stefani
Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images

Gwen Stefani does a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade concert pre-tape in Bryant Park on Nov. 21, 2017 in New York.

Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without the anticipated Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This year, on Thursday (Nov. 23), the 91st annual parade -- which broadcasts to over 50 million viewers around the world and passes by 3.5 million spectators, according to NBC -- started with a fun and festival sing-along to "Dancing In The Street," that saw favorite actors (including Gaten Matarazzo, aka Dustin in Stranger Things) lip-sync the song in front of a green screens showing various New York City hotspots.

The rest of the parade featured balloons old and new (like Frozen's Olaf), vibrantly colored floats and, of course, several stellar performances from the likes of Gwen Stefani, Nicky Jam, The Roots and many more. 

Here are the 10 best moments from the parade. 

-- As the floats made their way from uptown to midtown, various Broadway shows delivered brief performances of its better-known songs. While the casts of SpongeBob SquarePants and Once On This Island offered admirable and enjoyable shows, the standout was surely Dear Evan Hansen. The cast sang the uplifting "You Will Be Found" in perfect harmony, starting the parade off on a positive and unifying note. 

-- The first non-Broadway performance was rightfully given by Gwen Stefani, who sang “White Christmas” off her new holiday album You Make It Feel Like Christmas. The icon, wearing a custom Yousef Aljasmi silver fringed dress and white satin gloves, performed from a stationary stage as opposed to on a float, allowing the horn section to blare throughout the park while ice skaters glided in a kickline to the beat.

-- One of the best, and most adorable moments, came courtesy of 10 year old Angelica Hale? -- the runner-up from season 12 of America's Got Talent. The mini powerhouse performed an impassioned rendition of Alicia Keys' “Girl On Fire.”

-- Halfway through the parade, Andy Grammer sang “Smoke Clears” on a duck-themed float for Homewood Suites. The danceable, catchy track offered a perfect midway pick-me-up to keep the high-energy pace of the parade going strong.

-- Jimmy Fallon and The Roots wheeled their way to 34th street on a giant guitar float to deliver Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." Fallon gave the iconic intro, clad in a purple scarf and purple sunglasses, and continued to mouth the lyrics while spinning in circles. The Roots all wore purple-colored warm weather accessories, while Questlove also boasted Prince's "Love Symbol #2" icon and and a purple heart on his jacket.

-- Country star Dustin Lynch's performance of "Small Town Boy" was a perfect fusion of contrasting elements. The small town boy was sure far from home as he sang atop a KFC float in what is anything but a small town: New York City.

-- Dressed head-to-toe in bright red, Bebe Rexha, sang “Meant To Be” (sans the song's featured act Florida Georgia Line) while performing in front of a huge (and equally bright red) Big Apple atop the New York City-themed NY Daily News float. Best of all, though, was the person standing atop the apple who waved her arms -- which were decorated as stems of the apple -- in perfect sync.

-- Latin music was well represented by one of the genre's biggest stars: Nicky Jam. Jam performed his current hit “El Amante” on the newly revealed Sour Patch Kids float. 

-- To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Miracle on 34th Street, the parade recreated the memorable Harold the Baseball Player balloon that was seen in the film. To maintain its place in time, the black-and-white balloon didn't receive any upgrades and floated just as it appeared 70 years ago. 

-- True to form, the parade closed out with Santa making his season debut. While his first "official" appearance marked an end to the parade, it signaled that the holiday season is now in full swing.


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