Biggest Parades in New York City

Although parades haven’t been as prominent after COVID-19, we’ll get back to normal one day. When that time comes, you’ll want to put these events on your calendar to enjoy the best that NYC offers.

Here are the most significant celebrations that you can find in the Big Apple throughout the year.

1. Chinese Lunar New Year

About 5,000 people march in this parade. It features marching bands, acrobats, magicians, and plenty of dragon dances. Almost everything is local, making it feel like you’re getting to know your neighbors a little better. A cultural festival with additional performances happens after.

2. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

This annual event has been held each year since 1924. Over 50 million people watch it at home, with another 3.5 million typically in attendance. It features giant balloons, creative floats, Santa Clause, and the Rockettes.

3. Columbus Day Parade

With about one million spectators each year, this parade celebrates the contributions that Italian immigrants brought to the city. There’s also a nod to the exploration spirit of Christopher Columbus. About 100 groups attend the event each year, with 35,000 participants.

4. African-American Day Parade

This parade began in 1968, but it has grown to be the largest of its type in the United States. Its purpose is to help people gather while celebrating a mutual history and saluting those around the world for their accomplishments. It typically follows 111th Street before ending at 136th.

5. Labor Day Parade

This parade has been an NYC tradition since 1882. It marks the official close to the summer, and the event always happens on the second Saturday of September. The route runs along Fifth Avenue, starting at 44th and ending at 67th.

6. Pride Parade

After the first event was held in 1970, this parade has grown to be a demonstration of civil rights, determination, and togetherness. Over 300 marching contingents come out each year, representing numerous groups. It includes a family movie night, live music, and many more activities.

Until COVID-19 restrictions get lifted, you’ll want to call ahead to see what options are available for attendance when you are in New York City for one of these events.