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The Balloons Are Back – Fun Facts About Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Everyone loves to watch the gigantic balloons and festive floats in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade after taking a delicious meal with their family. This year Thanksgiving Day Parade will be celebrating its 90th Anniversary since it started in 1924. The ceremony will start at 9 a.m this Thursday in Manhattan Upper neighborhood before moving towards Macy’s department of flagship store on the 34th street New York. A spectacle of more than fifty million people will be watching the Macy’s Day Parade from the comfort of their homes and 3.5 million watching along the route. Here are a few fun facts about Macy’s day parade you might not have known.

thanksgiving day parade

Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

The parade started as a way of celebrating the expansion of Macy’s flagship Manhattan store, which would now cover the whole city block and became the self-proclaimed “World Largest Store.” Originally, the parade was named “Macy’s Christmas Parade.” It was started by the employees who worked at the store. They wanted to celebrate their holiday season with an event that is similar to their hometowns European festivals.

The original 5.5-mile route had workers marching, floats, and even some live animals like tigers, elephants, bears, camels, and lions from the zoo in central park. Macy’s decided to rename the festival in 1927 and gear it towards the Thanksgiving. Also, the company introduced floats of cartoon character. One of the very first used cartoon characters was Felix the cat, who’s making a comeback this year.

thanksgiving day parade

Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Macy’s Parade

Two years after changing its name to gear it towards the Thanksgiving, it faced some objection from the Allied Patriotic Societies. They were protesting against the event from being held on Thanksgiving day citing reasons that it will interfere with Thanksgiving day worship and also that it was not appropriate for a commercial company to hold such an event on holiday. The protesters threatened to go to the commissioner of police and ask him to revoke the parade permit. However, the association’s efforts were unsuccessful. The parade pointed out that Thanksgiving morning is the only time traffic will be minimal to permit the parade, and children will be free to watch among other reasons.

thanksgiving day parade

Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Balloons made their debut three years after the first annual parade. The longest ever balloon in the parade is Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger that measures 77 feet long. Just one of its arm is the size of a school bus. From 1929 to 1931, the balloons would be released at the end of the parade. Anyone who would find the balloons could return them to Macy’s for a price of $50 gift certificate.

Will you be watching Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade? Let us know in the comments!

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