After much speculation, it was announced in April 2009 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will have a new route for 2009. The new, wider route will give the parade the extra space it has needed for more parade goers and will allow for more economic activity.
The parade had previously started at 77th Street and Central Park West to continue South on Broadway when it reached Columbus Circle, through Times Square and ending in Herald Square. The new route will now have four 90 degree turns, with the parade starting at 77th Street and Central Park West, turning East onto 59th Street, then South at 7th Avenue, then East on 42nd Street for a block before turning South onto 6th Avenue, and finishing in Herald Square at 34th Street. This is the sixth route change in the history of the parade since its debut in 1924.
The parade route change has sent hotels on 6th and 7th Avenues scrambling to create pricey room packages and viewing parties in their event spaces for people who want to watch the parade indoors. This change is of course a disappointment for Broadway hotels whose business will now be hurt because the parade won’t be passing outside its doors anymore.