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History of the Macy’s Day Parade

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The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is held in New York City every year. It’s the world’s largest parade and is held in Manhattan starting at 9:00 a.m. and ends around 12:00 p.m. The parade is televised nationally on NBC, and it includes giant character balloons, numerous floats, and over 8,000 participants that include clowns, dancers, bands, celebrities, and even Santa Claus. The parade begins at Central Park West from 77th Street to Columbus Circle, then along Central Park South to 6th Avenue to 34th Street , then finally along 34th Street to Macy’s Herald Square.

The event was started by Louis Bamberger in 1924 in Newark, New Jersey at the Bamberger’s store but was transferred to New York City by Macy’s. At the first parade, there was an audience of over 250,000 people, the parade was such a success that Macy’s declared it would become an annual event. In 1933 over 1 million people came to watch the parade. Throughout the years it became more popular until 1942 when WW2 began. For 2 years the parade stopped because of the need for helium and rubber in the war effort. The parade then resumed in 1945 when the war ended. With the production of Miracle on 34th Street, the parade became known nation wide. In 2006 a special variant of the logo was used aside from the classic logo. Every year since, new logo has been used for each parade. Also in 2006 new safety measures were enforced to prevent accidents and balloon related injuries.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is known for its balloons and floats. The very first balloon was Felix the Cat in 1931. Almost every year since then new balloons have been added. The very first float was Tom Turkey in 1971. In 1990 they added what is called a faloon, which is a float based balloon. The first falloon added was the Paddington Bear. Then in 2004 they added what was called a balloonicle, which is a self-powered balloon vehicle.  

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History of the Macy’s Day Parade