5 Fun Facts About the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
For many, Thanksgiving comes with its fair share of baggage and traditions. One tradition that has endured over the decades is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The largest parade in the world, the annual big-float fest began in 1924 and has always been a highlight of Turkey Day.
Here are some fun facts that you may have not known about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
- Macy’s originally held the parade during Christmas. Employees organized the parade in 1924 to celebrate the milestone of becoming the “World’s largest store.” Three years later, it was held on Thanksgiving and it has held down the date ever since.
- They used to let balloons float away. Those who found the released balloons got a gift certificate from Macy’s.
- The parade was originally broadcast on the radio. The first radio broadcast of the parade was in 1932. The celebration didn’t reach television screens for another 20 years when it was first broadcast in 1952.
- The parade has experienced several route changes in its history. The most recent route change came in 2012 where the city decided to eliminate Times Square from the parade route.
- The parade hasn’t always gone off without a hitch as one would expect with huge balloons towering over the streets. Take 1997, for example, where winds reached speeds up to 40 miles an hour and the Barney float, the Pink Panther float, and the Cat in the Hat float all succumbed to the wind.