What to watch for in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Wisconsin is well-represented in the 2022 annual parade.
Macys Parade
Macys Parade(MGN)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 11:35 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin will be well-represented at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Badger State will take center stage in the Big Apple with dancers, balloon handlers, and a float all taking over the streets of New York City.

The parade will air at 9 a.m. on NBC.


Four high school students from Eau Claire will march in the parade as part of Macy’s Great American Marching Band. The Eau Claire Memorial High School students were selected after submitting a video application in January.

WEAU 13 News caught up with the students ahead of their trip to NYC.

Memorial High School Band Director, Eric Dasher, says this is the eight consecutive year students from EC Memorial High School have been selected to participate.

In total, 185 students from around the country make up the Great American Marching Band.


Seven dancers from DeForest’s Ultimate Leap Dance Center will be performing in this year’s parade. Faces to watch include: Kiarah Cystrunk, Addison Otto, Daelyn Midlikowski, Wren Hunter, Brynn Hookham, Eve Hollenberger, and Denali Oler.

The dancers will be performing with Spirit of America productions which showcases a group of high school dancers from all over the United States.

WMTV′s Phoebe Murray interviewed the troupe ahead of their departure to New York and learned the teens are excited for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

DeForest dancers selected to be dancing in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
DeForest dancers selected to be dancing in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


A Madison family will be holding on tight to the balloons. Daniel and Sharon Langer from Madison are assigned to be balloon handlers for Pokemon and the Red Titan, one of the characters from a popular YouTube channel, Ryan’s World.

The Langers say they were selected to be balloon handlers because of their daughter, who works for MSNBC and lives in New York. NBC employees and their families were invited to apply for the opportunity.

The Langer Family says their other daughter from Chicago will also be joining them in the parade. They are looking forward to a family reunion.


For the fifth time, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions will have a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The “Colossal Wave of Wonder” float will return to the streets of New York after making its debut last year.

Jamaican rapper Sean Paul will be performing on the float, which features a family of elephants amidst cresting waves.

“The mama elephant blows water sky high out of her trunk and then there’s a wave and her baby elephants ride down it and there’s a rhino that is surfing and an octopus. It really just brings it around to they’re making memories that last a lifetime, which is exactly what you do at Kalahari,” said Kortnee Carroll, a Kalahari Spokesperson.

The float also incorporates the beauty of Africa, which is the theme at all Kalahari attractions. The Nelson family, which founded Kalahari, has invested more than $5.5 million in African-made art, according to a statement from the company.

“They (The Nelson’s) go over there and they buy a lot of the artwork and bring it back. So, when you’re walking around the Kalahari resorts you’ll see all of the artwork displayed on the walls or in the rooms. So, they’re giving money back to the artisans there and really supporting that community,” added Carroll.

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, home of America’s Largest Indoor Waterparks, debuts a new...
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, home of America’s Largest Indoor Waterparks, debuts a new float, the “Colossal Wave of Wonder” at the 95th Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in New York. (Ben Hider/AP Images for Kalahari Resorts)(Ben Hider | AP Images for Kalahari Resorts)