Idina Menzel, Sting, and Meghan Trainor join Thanksgiving Day Parade

NBC has announced the lineup for the upcoming Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and it promises to be huge.   That isn't just a joke about the size of the balloons either, it's also in reference to their total number, the number of participants, and the performances that have been lined up.

Looking at that last bit first, scheduled to appear during the parade this year are the likes of Idina Menzel, Meghan Trainor, Nick Jonas, Sting, Lucy Hale, the cast and Muppets of “Sesame Street,” and Quvenzhané Wallis.  The Taney Dragons are going to lead the procession and you can expect to see star pitcher Mo'ne Davis alongside the rest of the team. 

Fans of the balloons will be happy to note that this year will feature the last group of new balloons ever.  The six freshman balloons-there will 16 total giant character balloons-depict Paddington, Pikachu, the Pillsbury Doughboy, the Red Power Ranger, Skylanders Eruptor, and Thomas the tank Engine.  Old favorites like Papa Smurf, Snoopy and Woodstock, Spider-man, and SpongeBob will be back as well.  Even the Kool-Aid Man is putting in an appearance this year. 

“Like turkey dinner and gathering with family, tradition means everything on Thanksgiving and we”re thrilled to once again telecast the Macy”s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs and Late Night, NBC Entertainment. “It”s an annual heartwarming event that helps celebrate the holiday season.”

All told, more than 8,000 people will take part in the parade, which is celebrating its 88th year here in 2014. Hosted by Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie, it will air at 9am on NBC (live on the east coast, tape delayed elsewhere) and then reair at 2pm.