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The magic behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

NEW YORK – It’s a Thanksgiving tradition.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is set to take over the west side of New York City, with marching bands, giant balloons, clowns -- and Santa.

The 16 giant balloons ready to fly in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade get a lot of attention.

Astronaut Snoopy and Spongebob and Gary among those poised for flight.

But the parade really moves along with the beat of the bands, on the street.

“I’ve been watching it since I was a kid, and I’m gonna be in it now,” said Justin Fabiyi-King, Morgan State Magnificent Marching Machine drum major.

We visited with the Morgan State University Magnificent Marching Machine, and director Melvin Miles -- during pre-parade preps, in Baltimore.

“It fills my heart, the kind of work that they do, on a weekly basis, and how much they give,” said Miles.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade creative producer Wesley Whatley delivers the news to each selected band, personally.

A plan for peak performance begins more than a year out.

“That process is very collaborative. the director will come up with some ideas, we’ll offer some suggestions, and we go back and forth to make sure that the band looks their very best on the streets of New York this Thanksgiving,” said Whatley.

11 bands will hit the pavement with more than 1,000 clowns, 600 cheerleaders and 26 of the parade’s famous floats, starring Rexy, Blue’s Clues and Lego.

“Macy’s employees actually start this process about six to nine months out - physically designing and building all of the floats that you see here,” said Susan Tercero, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Executive Producer.