Today star Al Roker’s Thanksgiving Day Parade hosting status revealed after missing last year

al roker at 91st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Al Roker as host of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Pic credit: © VanTine/

Al Roker has become a familiar face every year as viewers watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The 69-year-old weatherman from NBC’s Today first hosted the event in 1995 and continued until 2022.

Viewers, friends, and family were concerned last year when Roker missed the event for the first time in 27 years.

That was due to a health scare, which hospitalized the popular NBC personality for a bit.

He also had a significant surgery earlier this year, raising questions about the famous weatherman’s status for the annual parade.

The lineup was recently announced for the televised event, giving an update about Roker as the potential host.

Will All Roker host the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

The good news is that Al Roker is returning as host of the annual parade after missing the event for the first time last year in nearly 30 years.

During Tuesday’s Today episode, Hoda Kotb confirmed Roker’s return to his hosting spot.

“Tune into the 97th Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade next Thursday. I remember last year was not the same because Mr. Al Roker was not there,” she said.

Roker joked that it was “probably better,” to which they indicated it wasn’t.

“No, it was not [better], and now you’re back where you belong. Looking forward to it,” Kotb said.

The 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade featured Roker’s colleague Dylan Dreyer as replacement host. Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb joined Dreyer as co-anchors.

As mentioned, Roker wasn’t part of last year’s telecast due to his health scare, as he was suffering blood clot complications and very severe internal bleeding. At the time, the issue affected his legs and lungs.

Monsters and Critics reported Roker’s return to NBC’s Today in January. He shared he’d lost “half his blood” at the time, and doctors were “trying to figure out where it was.”

Last week, Roker appeared on Your Mama’s Kitchen podcast, where he spoke about his health scare and how it nearly took his life.

“It’s no secret that I had a severe medical issue, and to be completely honest, I almost died. I didn’t know it at the time,” Al said, crediting his wife, Deborah Roberts, for working with his doctors.

He also admitted that missing the holidays had a significant impact, and it’s not something he wants to repeat.

“I missed Thanksgiving and almost missed Christmas, and I forgot how important those touchstone moments are,” he said, adding, “I felt, in a sense, badly because I ruined Thanksgiving for the family, and I was not going to let that happen for Christmas.”

In addition, Roker had a knee replacement surgery earlier this year but has since returned to normal activities, including taking walks outdoors.

With Roker in much better health than last year, he’s set to return to his hosting spot and will help present the big event.

Parade to feature a star-studded lineup of performers

Roker will handle the hosting duties as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features balloons, floats, and star performers.

Among those who will appear on floats to entertain viewers are Bell Biv Devoe, Brandy, Cher, En Vogue, Jessie James Decker, and Pentatonix.

Some balloons viewers will see floating above the ground include Goku, Grogu, Paw Patrol, Pikachu, Ronald McDonald, Spongebob Squarepants, Snoopy, and The Pillsbury Doughboy.

The 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place Thursday, November 23, from 8:30 a.m. to Noon Eastern Time. Viewers can watch the telecast on NBC and the Peacock live-streaming platform.

In the meantime, viewers can see Roker regularly on NBC’s Today and check out his official Instagram, where he might share parade-related updates.

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