The history behind Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


As the holiday season nears, it may be easy to overlook the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Many don’t realize how historical this parade actually is. It takes place on the streets of New York City on the morning of Thanksgiving Day from about 9 to 12am Eastern Standard Time. The parade is one of the world’s largest parades and has taken place on every Thanksgiving Day since 1924, making it the second oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States. The parade has been nationally televised on NBC since 1952, and was first seen on network television in 1948.

The annual parade features giant balloons, floats, celebrities, marching bands, and cheerleaders. The event also includes Broadway theatre shows that take place on the green carpet that covers the ground on the street in front of Macy’s, which also marks the parade’s end. The Rockettes have performed at every parade since 1957, while several college bands from across the country perform at each parade.

In the year of 2019, it will be the 93rd annual Parade to hit the streets of New York City, bringing excitement to everyone’s Thanksgiving. This year, the parade will take place on Thursday, November 28. It takes a unique path through the streets of the Big Apple.

Putting an exclamation point on every parade’s end since 1924 is Santa Claus, who comes through on his sled with Mrs. Claus and several Elves in a festive Christmas atmosphere. The way the parade ends symbolizes the transition to Christmas and the holiday season.

The first parade, drew so much attention that they decided to make it an annual event. There was an audience of 250,000 people during its first year, which led to the announcement to hold the event every year. There are now millions of people coming to watch the parade in person.

One of the most special features of the parade are the ginormous inflatable balloons. This year the parade includes a majority of the balloons from years past. Some of these balloons have been around for over 50 years. The first ever character balloon in the parade was Felix the Cat in 1927, but didn’t make his first appearance until 1931. The first Mickey Mouse balloon appeared in 1934.

Some of the balloons that are currently in the parade are the Pillsbury Doughboy, Ronald McDonald, Charlie Brown, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Universal Nutcracker, The Grinch, Olaf from Frozen, Spongebob Squarepants, Trolls, Elf on the Shelf, and several Macy’s star balloons in different colors. A couple of the new balloons of the year include Green Eggs and Ham, Smokey Bear, Macy’s Sunny the Snowpal, and Macy’s Americana Spheres.

Astronaut Snoopy is making his Parade debut in 2019 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing and promote the Apple TV Show Snoopy in Space. In order to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Spongebob Series, a new version of Spoungebob Squarepants will be featured in the 2019 parade. This new version will include Spongebob’s snail friend Gary as they soar through the sky on Thanksgiving Day.

There is even an opportunity for people just like you to go see these inflatable balloons come to life on Thanksgiving Eve. The balloons are inflated around the American Museum of Natural History, between Central Park West and Columbus Ave. The inflation starts on Wednesday, November 21 from 1-8pm.

The only time the parade didn’t go on was 1942 to 1944 due to World War II. There was a high demand for rubber and helium in the war effort, so Macy’s decided to donate their supplies and not host the parade.. The parade resumed in 1945 and followed the same route until 2008.

The coldest parade ever measured was in 2018, when forecasts reached a low temperature of 19°F. The warmest parade occurred in 1933 with temperatures reaching a high of 69°F.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began as a small parade that turned out to be the most successful Thanksgiving Parade in the world. Over 44 million people tune into the parade on television on an annual basis and hopefully the parade will continue to be successful for many years to come.

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