I know you’re all getting ready to enjoy your meal with your family and friends and maybe even right now you have your television set on and you’re watching The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. For some families it’s a ritual to have it on the while you’re waiting for the turkey to cook and before the football games start, so I thought it would be fun to learn a few things about the parade.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the most popular parade in America and has been a New York tradition since 1924. But did you know that the first parade actually took place on Christmas Day? Macy’s first held the parade to attract attention to the Macy’s store in New York City, and Macy’s employees dressed as clowns, cowboys and other costumes and traveled with floats and borrowed animals from the Central Park Zoo. The parade traveled from Herald Square to Harlem in Manhattan. Over 250,000 people attended the first parade, and it was such a success that Macy’s decided to make it an annual event.
Macy’s has held the Thanksgiving Day Parade every year since 1924, with the exception of three years. Macy’s did not hold their annual parade from 1942-1944 during World War II, and the rubber used to make the parade floats was donated to the Military during this time. More than two million people attended the parade when it resumed again in 1945.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was first broadcast on the radio in 1932, and it was first broadcast on television in 1939. NBC was the first station to broadcast the parade, and it is still considered the official broadcast station of the parad; CBS also broadcasts the parade “unofficially”. 50 million viewers tune in to watch the parade each year.
The first balloon to take part in the Macy’s parade was Felix the Cat in 1927…
Seven years later in 1934, Disney joined the parade and introduced the Mickey Mouse balloon. Snoopy-the Peanuts character created by Charles Schulz, has the most Thanksgiving Day Parade floats with six different balloons since 1968. Today, the parade features over a dozen balloons, including, Spider Man, Hello Kitty and Spongebob Squarepants to name a few..
The highlight of the parade has always been Santa Claus who makes his appearance at the end of the parade to welcome the beginning of the Holiday Season. Santa Claus has been part of the parade since the first parade in 1924, however, at the first parade The Jolly Old Elf was also in attendance, and sat on a throne on the Macy’s balcony at the 34th Street store entrance where he was crowned “King of the Kiddies”.
The Macy’s Thankgiving Day Parade now features nearly 30 parade floats, 1500 dancers and cheerleaders, more than 750 clowns, several marching bands from all over the country, and over 8000 participants. On average, 3.5 million people attend the parade each year and ever more watch the parade on TV.
It’s a wonderful tradition that brings joy and happiness to many families who travel to New York City to watch it live or who turn on their TV’s every year to bring the joy into their home.
From all of us here at Daily Dish Magazine, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
We hope your turkey is delicious, you house full of family and friends but more importantly, that you make many memories this year as you celebrate all you have to be thankful for.