I have grown up watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade my whole life.
Except for this year, my sister convinced me to run the Turkey Day 5K...
But I am catching the last end of it right now.
Just like a lot of things this parade has a fascinating history.
In the 1920s a lot of people that worked in the department stores of the day were European immigrants. Excited about their new home, they wanted to find a way to celebrate America and its unique holiday celebrating thankfulness. Many cities around the country started having parades in a similar manner that their parents had celebrated within their cultures.
New York's Parade as we know it today began in 1924 by Louis Bamburger of Bamburger's Department store, which was later bought out by Macy's. The employees were dressed in magnificent costumes, alongside decked out floats, professional bands, and animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. And from the very first year the parade ended with Santa exciting the 250,000 people who came to watch. With such a great turnout for the very first year Macy's decided to make it a yearly event.
In 1928 the first balloon of Felix the Cat was used to replace the live animals but each year more and more balloons were added including Mickey Mouse in 1934, Donald Duck, Uncle Sam, Spiderman, Pinocchio, the Tin Man, and a Dragon.
By the 1930's there was an annual crowd of over 1 million people lined up along the route.
The Parade took a break from 1942-1945 for WWII all of the extra rubber, silk, and fuel was needed on the war front. But as soon as the war ended the parade resumed and has become a staple to many peoples Thanksgiving mornings.
Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!