Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Did You Know Tuesday - The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Do you watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade?   I love it and have watched it every Thanksgiving - often, as an adult, scurrying back and forth from the kitchen while cooking.

The Macy's Thanksgiving parade started in 1924 and featured Macy's employees in New York City dressed up in costumes walking the route, as well as riding on some creative floats.  Over 250,000 spectators watched the first parade.

Felix the Cat was the first balloon float in 1927.  The parade organizers did not have plans to save the balloon after the parade, so they let it just float off.

Artist, puppet designer, and children's book illustrator Tony Sarg designed many of the early balloons.  He also did a parade theme window display for the store.

This Tony Sarg designed dachshund balloon was released after the 1929 parade:

The parade became increasingly popular through the 1930's.  It was suspended from 1942 - 1944 because of World War II.

The 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street featured Macy's and the parade, and this only added to the parade's popularity.  The first television broadcast was in 1948.

This is Frieda the dachshund, from the 1950's parade era:

This Elsie the Cow balloon from the 1963 parade promoted the 1964 - 1965 New York World's Fair:

Betty White and Lorne Green hosted the 1965 parade:

Performances are popular both before the parade and on floats.  Classics include the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, high school bands, and of course, the arrival of Santa Claus at the end of the parade.

Do you enjoy the Macy's parade?  What are your favorite floats or balloons?   I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.


Greta Hollar said...

Wow! I never knew this! Thanks for sharing.
Greta | www.gretahollar.com

Angela Tolsma said...

I didn't even know Macy's put on a parade! I will definitely be looking for it this year!

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks for the visits! I love watching the parade - have watched each year since childhood. I enjoyed learning more about it for this post.


Adir Rondack said...

Hello there. I drove a float in the Fiesta Bowl parade. I wrote an article about it. I'll have to dig it up and show it to you. Thanks for the blog!

Becky Ginther said...

I also love watching the parade. I am a big theater fan so I really love it when they have performers from the Broadway shows perform!

Unknown said...

I always watch the parade and now I am really excited to watch it with my 3 year old daughter! My favorite part was when Santa would show up at the end. To me it symbolized the coming of Christmas!

Sarah Koves said...

I love this parade. My mother and I like the shows- especially the clips from the Broadway shows. Such a great history. Thanks!

Kovescence of the Mind

Rachel Gault said...

So much history, thanks for sharing! I love watching the parade every year. Would love to be there in person one day!

Laura Hughes said...

Betty White was (and still is) a total babe.
I'm from Toronto, so we have our own parade, but the Macy's parade (is that still what it's called?) is legendary!

"Underdog has broken loose and is flying over the city!"

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks for your comments. I enjoyed reading your parade memories. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!