Celine Dion and Billy Porter will star in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – invited by the gay man who runs the show

Vic Parsons November 28, 2019
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Billy Porter attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Billy Porter attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty)

Today will be the 93rd Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, and stars including Billy Porter and Celine Dion will take part.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is masterminded by Wesley Whatley, who’s worked at Macy’s for 16 years and describes the Macy’s Parade as “…the last surviving, long running variety show on television”.

Whatley is the creative director of the most famous parade in the world, and this year will be his 17th parade.

“With the amazing Billy Porter, our challenge is to match his style with spectacle, so this year we created a larger than life moment for him,” Whatley said. Pose star Porter is known for his iconic looks.

“He will perform on a carriage led by a dinosaur, with a full circus around him. Let’s just say it should be spectacular.”

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has a line-up that includes nearly 60 balloons, 26 floats, 1,200 cheerleaders and dancers, more than 1,000 clowns and 11 marching bands.

Along with Porter, celebrity performances and appearances are expected from Celine Dion, the Black Eyed Peas, Ciara and Idina Menzel.

In addition, like most years, Whatley will also have his own musical numbers incorporated into the parade.

“This year, I wrote a few songs for the show,” Whatley said. “One is a brand-new Christmas carol called the ‘The Holidays are Here’. We believe that original music is an important and distinctive element to our show, and we try to add new musical moments to the parade each year.”

But the most important thing to him is when he sees the parade approach for the first time.

“I sit in the production truck with our NBC broadcast partner in front of the Macy’s Herald Square store on 34th Street and Sixth Avenue, and without fail, every year, when I see the start of the parade make the turn down Sixth Avenue towards us, I get goose bumps,” he said.

“Still do after all these years and will for sure this year as well. When another Parade comes safely down the street, it’s a dream come true for all of us.

More: Billy Porter, black eyed peas, celine dion, New York

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