November 30, 2015

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2015 – 30 Min Video in Full HD + Hi Res Photos

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macys-15- (23 of 329)HRezI  cover a number of parades in New York and we decided we would take a shot at covering the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year.  We were concerned about the number of people there and with the recent terrorist attacks and of course concerned for our safety. 

Both of these concerns were unfounded and it turned out to be a great day, beautiful weather, incredible security by the New York Police Department and an orderly and happy group of hundreds of thousands of spectators.

The coordinator at Macy’s advised us to arrive no later than 7:30 AM and my wife and I left our home in New Jersey at 6:00 AM and arrived in plenty of time to set up and do our video intro.

Press Tower

Press Tower


Surprise, Very Light Traffic

Most people listened to the advice and took public transportation.  We were able to park in a Press Parking space off the corner of 47th Street and 6th Ave. a perfect spot to cover the parade.

I was prepared to get my gear and get into the street and shoot the parade as we have done at others…but…we noticed Macy’s constructed a tower that was erected to accommodate the foreign press. Showing my  NYPD Press ID allowed us access to the tower.

Macys-15- (326 of 329)HRezUnfortunately, we weren’t able to get down from the platform until the parade was over and people began to leave. As you can see in my photos it was wall to wall people and I would have loved to get in the street to get those close up and personal shots of the participants as we usually do at other parades.

The Parade

The parade started at 9 AM from the 77th Street launch.  At 9:30 AM it reached 47th Street and I began to snap away.  My dad had previously recorded our correspondent Andy Peeke’s intro so we were ready to shoot the parade.

I was able to get the entire parade on video and I was able to shoot over 300 beautiful photos.

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Toothless The Dragon- From How To Train Your Dragon

Here are some stats on what we saw:

  • 17 Giant and popular Balloons, 4 appeared for this first time this year
  • 19 Floats, 9 were newly introduced at the parade this year.
  • 2 Balloonicles – not sure that word means, but you will see the Kool Aid Man, that is a balloonicle.
  • 11 Novelty Balloons, these are the non-character balloons you will see. These included Macy’s Yellow Stars, Macy’s Red Believe Stars, Pumpkins, Happy Hippo, Harold the Fireman, Wiggleworm, Arrtle the Pirate and others.
  • There were 29 groups of clowns that you will see in the video and 12 marching bands from High Schools and Colleges in addition to the New York Police Marching Band and Macy’s Great American Marching Band.
  • 6 Great Performer Groups to include an amazing number of cheer leaders in the Spirit of America Cheer and dancers in the Spirit of America Dance Stars.
  • Last but not least, the “Notable Performers” who perform for the NBC cameras at Macy’s Herald Square.  They were on the floats waving to the screaming crowds, but the didn’t perform.  I expected them to at least mouth some of the songs to recorded music as they passed, but alas, that is probably a contractual deal with NBC so no other media outlet could record it.

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The parades final float is Santa’s Sleigh with the real  Santa and Mrs. Clause. I still get excited to see them high on top of their sleigh waving to the millions that know this is the start of the Christmas season.  I think I still believe in Santa Clause too.

Macy’s has a wonderful parade website with all the information including everything we saw at the parade and more.  No need to write about it here, just click here to visit their parade website.

Our Parade Video

Watch our video. it will cover the entire parade in only 30 minutes.  We have identified every balloon, float, band and group at the parade.  My dad has added some musical tracks to the video so you won’t have to listen to the screaming crowd that we shot, but can sit back and enjoy the parade in the gorgeous HD video.

Our Photos of the Parade

You may download any for your personal use.  These are copyrighted photos and should not be used on a website or for publication without my permission. Click Here  or the image below to see the entire album.

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Click Image To See Entire Photo Album

Photo Equipment Used

I like to include a list of equipment I used to cover my events and the software used to process the finished product to help other photographers and videographer’s so they can do the same.  It also gives me an opportunity to thank these companies for their continued support.

Camera:  Nikon D7200 DSLR & Nikon D7000

Lenses:  Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens and Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO

Lighting: Rotolight Neo

Sound Equipment:  Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA – 2-Channel Active XLR Adapter  • Mic RODE Reporter

Monopod: Manfrotto 561B HDV Fluid Aluminum Monopod with 561BHDV Head

We always pack extra batteries for camera and lights and remember to take extra memory cards as well.






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About the Author

Len Rapoport
Len Rapoport
IPA Editor-In-Chief, ID: 1000 • I am an internationally published photographer and the founder of International Press Association. As president and editor-in-chief, my duties at IPA are extensive. For over 40 years I have written articles, had my photos published in millions of publications, record album covers, books, and in the digital media. I was senior marketing and sales executive for major corporations, including my own and as a corporate communications consultant. I have taught photography and formed IPA 20 years ago. I currently work from my home office and continue to actively cover media events in addition to all of my other IPA and IMPress responsibilities.



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