History of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC Video
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Video:History of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC

with Meghan Lynn Allen

Want to learn about the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC? This video will give you an overview of the parade activities.See Transcript

Transcript:History of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC

Hi! This is Meghan Lynn Allen for About.com, and today we'll the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.

Basics About the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month with family and friends, but if you're looking for something to celebrate on a larger scale, why not try the Macy's Parade in New York City? It's been around for 80 years, and it's filled with magical balloons, bands and all kinds of surprises.

Start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

So, how did it begin? Well, the Macy's Parade started in 1924 on Christmas Day. Macy's employees themselves dressed as clowns, cowboys and all sorts of costumes to draw attention to the store. Well, it really worked. Over 250,000 people attended that parade, and that's how it became an annual event in Manhattan.

About the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC

It's a 3-hour event that starts at 9 AM on Thanksgiving Day, Eastern Standard Time, in New York City. And the parade was suspended, didn't happen, from the years 1942 to 1944, because of World War II and the need for helium and rubber for the war effort. The parade resumed in 1945, and continued to follow the same parade route until the year 2008. The parade became a more permanent part of Americana and American culture when it was featured in the 1947 film, Miracle on 34th street. And that Santa tradition continues strong, as he closes out the parade with his arrival every year.

Balloons in the Macy's Day Parade

Many people when they think of the Macy's parade think balloons. The first balloon, Felix the Cat, appeared in 1927. Soon after, he was inflated with helium - and without a proper way to deflate the balloon that first year, they let Felix fly off into the sky. Balloons are one of the most popular attractions of the parade, and kids have seen all their favorites come through in balloon form, such as Snoopy or Kermit the Frog.

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