Macy’s 90th Thanksgiving Day Parade


Samantha Crowson

Thanksgiving, a day of no school, food, and America’s most beloved parade, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Since November 24, 1927 the parade has become a tradition that has made people smile and spread the joy of the Christmas spirit, and now it is the 90th anniversary and the joy just keeps going around, as do the interesting facts.

Did you know that originally the Thanksgiving Day parade was called a Christmas Parade, which honestly makes a lot more sense seeing as the parade ends with an appearance from the big guy himself – Santa, who just so happens to be in all the parades so far. Most often Santa comes riding in on a sleigh- looking parade float but once, in 1933, he was in the beginning.

What most of us high school kids remember about the parade is the big balloons that fly on by, but it turns out, there wasn’t always balloons. Originally it was a bunch of people, in costumes (like now), floats, and live animals, all of which were borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. It wasn’t until 1927 when balloons actually came along and the first of those balloons was Felix The Cat.

Then marked the start of a long running tradition, as well as the release of the balloons into the sky. These balloons where said to release air slowly, and soon land in various places across America. It was said that those to bring it back would receive $100. This only lasted until 1929, when safety valves where added.

During the years of 1942-1944, the Second World War was going on and in those years, Macy’s canceled its parade due to rubber and helium shortages.  The parade resumed in 1945, but the route did get substantially shorter. It originally started at 145th street, ending at the large Macy’s store on 34th street, now going from 77th street to 34th street, making the route half the size than normal.

When it comes to the parade, one the best parts seems to be your favorite balloon characters that show up and there is only one balloon that has been there the longest. The iconic personified dog, Snoopy. He has had a grand total of 7 different balloons since 1968, and this year is marking his 40th year in the parade.

Finally, what about all those performers who sing and dance on top of the parade floats?  Well it happens to be that there were no performers until 2003, and then it turns out the performers don’t actually sing, they are just lip syncing due to the fact that trying to sing into a wireless microphone on a moving float, is pretty much impossible.

For 90 years the parade has been going on and wowing audiences nationwide, and now it can wow even more. Without a doubt this year will be just as awesome and maybe even better than all the others.