The Macy's Day Parade is an iconic American tradition that has been held on Thanksgiving Day since 1924.
But why Thanksgiving?
Why not Christmas? Or Independence Day? In this blog post, we will explore the history of the Macy's Day Parade and discover how this time-honored tradition came to be.
The Macy's Day Parade Began in 1924
On the sunlit morning of November 27, 1924, Macy's held their first parade in New York City as a way to celebrate the opening of Macy's new flagship store in Herald Square. The store covered an entire city block on 34th Street.
To celebrate the opening Macy's decided to have a parade on Thanksgiving morning in hopes customers would come into the store after the parade to see Santa Claus (at the 34th Street store entrance) and start shopping for last minute Thanksgiving Hostess Gifts and the Christmas holiday.
The Wild and Roaring 20s
The parade featured floats, bands, clowns, and wild animals from the Central Park Zoo.
The parade was such a success that it has been held annually on Thanksgiving Day ever since.
Over the years, the parade has evolved and changed to reflect the times. Because the wild animals from the zoo were frightening to children and adults alike, the decision was made to make the switch over to helium balloons.
So, in 1927, helium-filled balloons were introduced and have become one of the most iconic features of the parade. Some of the first balloons were of popular cartoon characters like Felix the Cat.
In 1934, the first Mickey Mouse balloon made its debut. Today, there are more than 50 different character balloons that take part in the parade each year.
The Start of the Christmas Season
The Macy's Day Parade is considered a kickoff to the Christmas holiday season, and it is broadcast live on television each year to an audience of millions of people across America.
It is truly a time-honored tradition that is loved by young and old alike.
So next time you're watching the parade on TV or marching in it yourself, remember its humble beginnings and think about how far it has come over the past century.
So, there you have it!
That's why the Macy's Day Parade is held on Thanksgiving!
And because it has been a part of American tradition for almost a century, if you're one of the millions of people who tune in to watch the parade every year, we hope you enjoy it!
And if you're not, maybe this is the year you start your own tradition and catch a glimpse of those giant helium-filled balloons in person! 🗽
Just remember, whether you're home or in New York 🗽watching the parade or not, whatever you're doing this year, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!