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Fun Facts About the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is set to air on CBS this Thanksgiving Day. The parade has become somewhat of a staple for families across the country. All of the amazing balloons, floats, and performances bring in millions of viewers each year to celebrate Thanksgiving. There are a lot of interesting facts about the parade and its 86 year history. Check ‘em out!

  • Macy’s employees staged the first parade in 1924 – it was so successful that they decided to make it an annual event.
  • The first character balloon to make an appearance at the parade was Felix the Cat in 1927.
  • In 1934 Macy’s worked with Disney for the first time to create the original Mickey Mouse balloon.
  • The only interruption in the parade’s history was from 1942-44. Macy’s gave their parade balloons to the war effort since rubber was so scarce.
  • The parade was first televised in New York in 1945.
  • There was a helium shortage in 1958 that forced the balloons to be filled with air and hung from cranes instead floating.
  • Floats must travel through the Lincoln Tunnel to get to Manhattan for the parade. A float has to fold up to an 8 foot wide and 12 1/2 foot high float in order to get through.
  • Nine parade telecasts since 1979 have won an Emmy.
  • This year’s parade will be the first with a change of route of the floats and balloons. They will travel 6th street instead of 7th street for the first time.
  • Santa Claus has ended the parade every year, except in 1933 when he led the parade.


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