If you like stuffing your Thanksgiving Day with tradition, odds are you've been a fan of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since back when you were waking up in Smurf pajamas. As the Macy's Parade rolls into its 86th year, you don't need a TV or a cable subscription to watch the Macy's Day Parade live. You just need to be awake and in front of a computer, tablet, or smartphone at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT Thanksgiving morning -- because various web sites and apps will allow you to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade live.
There is no official NBC or CBS webcast of the Thanksgiving Parade, so online viewers will not get the network TV broadcast with announcers likeand Al Roker. You're probably not watching the parade for the TV announcers anyway -- you want to see the floats and the balloons and the marching bands. Watching the Thanksgiving Parade online may be a better option, because you can switch camera angles yourself, and focus on the floats and attractions you want to see.
Tablet and smartphone viewers will want to go with a dedicated app to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Computer and laptop viewers have an outstanding livecam option to watch the parade live, from the Times Square vantage point of their choice.
Watch Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Online
If you're on a computer with a broadband connection, the livecam site Earthcam is a great bet for watching the Macy's Day Parade live or on demand. Earthcam has been broadcasting the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade for the last 12 years -- actually, they've had seven livecam cameras over Times Square for years, and these cameras happen to catch all of the action of the Macy's Parade.
Earthcam has a Times Square HD video feed with live sound that lets you watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade live. There are actually seven different Times Square camera feeds you can choose from -- not all of them are HD, and they don't all have live audio. But they do all give you a real-time view of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade as it rolls through Times Square on Thursday morning.
If you're not an early riser, Earthcam has in previous years provided an on-demand archived version of the parade not long after its completion. You can watch the full 2011 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and previous years' Macy's Day Parades are also available in the Earthcam archives.
Watch Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on Tablet or Smartphone
These apps are actually designed for people who are attending the parade in New York City, to help them find public restrooms or coffee shops or parking information. But these apps will also let you watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade live. The apps provide a live video feed from several traffic cameras situated along the parade route. The video feeds do not come with sound.
The video feeds do, however, come with the option of tuning in to whichever part of the parade you want to see -- be it Central Park, 42nd Street, or Times Square. You can also track which floats and balloons are where, in real time, so you can see exactly which attractions you want to see.
The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is scheduled from 9 a.m. - 12 Noon ET on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22.