The 87th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place this Thursday, November 28 at 9am. The parade has become somewhat of a staple for families across the country. All of the amazing balloons, floats, and performances bring in millions of viewers each year to celebrate Thanksgiving. There are a lot of interesting facts about the parade and its 87 year history.
- Macy’s employees staged the first parade in 1924 – it was so successful that they decided to make it an annual event.
- The first character balloon to make an appearance at the parade was Felix the Cat in 1927.
- In 1934 Macy’s worked with Disney for the first time to create the original Mickey Mouse balloon.
- The only interruption in the parade’s history was from 1942-44. Macy’s gave their parade balloons to the war effort since rubber was so scarce.
- The parade was first televised in New York in 1945.
- There was a helium shortage in 1958 that forced the balloons to be filled with air and hung from cranes instead floating.
- Floats must travel through the Lincoln Tunnel to get to Manhattan for the parade. A float has to fold up to an 8 foot wide and 12 1/2 foot high float in order to get through.
- This year’s parade will be the first with a change of route of the floats and balloons. They will travel 6th street instead of 7th street for the first time.
- Santa Claus has ended the parade every year, except in 1933 when he led the parade.
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