Fun Facts About Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
So funny how things you remember as a kid can bring you joy to the end of your days. When I was little I loved watching Captain Kangaroo every morning and each year on Thanksgiving they’d take you behind the scenes to watch all the Macy’s Parade Balloons begin blown up. They’d tell you how many people it would take to hold them down and walk them through the parade and it was magic. Ever since then I have seldom ever missed the parade on TV and it remains one of my bucket list items to see it in person someday. Here is a video of the process to get the balloons in the air on Thanksgiving
Here are some fun things you may not know about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
- Starting in 1924 it was originally called the Macy’s Christmas day parade
- Every years since then it has been offered up to the city of New York by Macy’s on Thanksgiving Day.
- The parade was the brain child of Macy’s first generation immigrant employees who wanted to show their gratitude for their new American life in the form of a European style festival.
- In the early years the floats were pulled by real horse power and live animals from the Central Park Zoo were also stars in the parade
- The first giant balloon of Micky Mouse was introduced in 1927
- Originally the giant balloons were let go at the end of the parade with an address sewn into them and if you found it and mailed it back to Macy’s you got a gift.
- During WWII the parade was put on hold from 1942 – 1944 and the rubber used to make the balloons was donated to the war effort.
- This Thanksgiving you will see over a dozen balloons in the Macy’s Parade and Snoopy is the longest running participant.
- For the massive parade to make it’s 2 mile march it takes approximately 4000 volunteers.
- On Thanksgiving Day the New York streets fill with over 3 million views and over 40 million folks like you and me watch it on TV.
- The parade was televised for the first time in 1939. They took hiatus during the war and although CBS to this day carries unauthorized portions of the parade NBC has been the official broadcaster since 1952.
- The public can watch the balloons being inflated the day before from 3-10 pm near the American Museum of Natural history on 77thStreet