Afternoon MIX with Chris & Lisa

They love a parade: Rob Thomas & Darren Criss prepare for their Macy’s Thanksgiving Day debuts

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This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features plenty of established stars, like Andy GrammerSara Bareilles and the band Foreigner, but surprisingly, a couple of them are singing in the parade for the very first time — like Rob Thomas and Darren Criss.

Despite living in the New York area for “the past 20-something years,” Rob Thomas will make his debut in the parade on Thursday, be singing a song from his new holiday album, Something About Christmas Time, while riding aboard the Hallmark Channel float.  Rob says he and his wife are equally thrilled.

“I’m stoked…my wife, growing up in Queens, [NY], that’s been her entire life,” Rob tells ABC Audio. “Christmas starts when Santa Claus goes past Macy’s, then, from that moment on for her, it’s the holidays.”

“I’m excited about doing it and I’m excited about doing it on the Hallmark float,” he adds. “That’s huge! That’s serious Christmas, right there. I am knee-deep in Christmas at that point!”

As for the connection between the Hallmark Channel and Rob, one of the songs on his album — an updated version of his 2003, “A New York Christmas” — is featured in the new Hallmark holiday film A Royal Queens Christmas.

Darren Criss, meanwhile, also has a connection to his float.

“I’m on the Kinder float, and I’m all about that because I love Kinder chocolate!” he tells ABC Audio. “And that’s perfect. That’s very sweet tooth-y, very holiday-y, very in-line with the kind of playfulness of the song that I’m doing.”

Darren will be singing “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” from his new album, A Very Darren Crissmas. “Maybe I’ll have like a big chocolate hippo [on the float],” he laughs. “I don’t know. I’m just putting it out there, Kinder!”