Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Here's How Much It Reportedly Cost

Known for its festive charm and larger-than-life float ideas, the 93rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade hosted by NBC Today anchors, Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie took place Thursday morning in New York City and after the event, experts and critics are now calculating the total costs and revealing their findings. In a report from CBS News released on Friday, the total costs for the Macy's spectacular averaged between a whopping $11.6 million to $13.4 million — something that is widely known to never being both cheap and easy.

The outlet goes on to report with calculations by that the annual costs for the parade float supplies, float decorations, property taxes and staff salaries total an estimated $2.7 million to $4.5 million.

Of course, Macy's also has its own studio space for performances and requires a massive supply of costumes to prepare for the parade. Those all end up costing a lot more than the average set additions, totaling a worth of $8.9 million. CBS News adds when combining the parade's total expenses with its total assets, the costs hit sky-high levels and range between $10.4 million to $12.3 million.

In case viewers at home didn't realize either, giant balloons that soar about five to six stories high cost a whole lot and can rack up at least $510,000 in helium costs with an average 300,000 to 700,000 cubic feet of helium used. While the balloons are often flown by 50 to 90 volunteer handlers, it still doesn't help cut down expenses.

When it comes to the 30 balloons flown in the parade on Thanksgiving, those cost about $200,000 care of sponsors, which covers construction and parade fees. While the costs are extremely high, it's a great opportunity for marketing a brand's product with no shortage of businesses willing to shell out hefty dollars for recognition and acknowledgement just in time for Christmas. CBS News goes on to report that sponsors pay an average of $90,000 for returning balloons that don't need to be constructed and are frequent participants.

With 19 floats spotted this year, those are just as expensive but not too daunting in a price check. Construction costs for each float average somewhere between $30,000 to $100,000 and can take an approximate four to nine months to get from concept to completion. Additionally, the roving works of art average in costs $780,000 to $2.6 million.

If that wasn't enough in addition to its beautiful construction, costumes have a total price tag of $2 million with more than 700 elaborate designs brought to life each year.


As a joint effort of more than 10,000 people, the mega event is watched by more than 50 million people with another 3.5 million heading to the streets to watch in person.

Photo credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images