Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – 1920’s – 1960’s
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition started in 1924 (tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States with America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit. The oldest being Philly’s Dunkin Donuts Thanksgiving Parade starting in 1920). The Macy’s parade however has taken the prize as the biggest and most elaborate. It has been televised on NBC since 1952.
The balloon subjects have changed dramatically over the years as the popular culture shifted, starting with Felix the Cat in 1927, Mickey Mouse in 1934, Mighty Mouse in’51, Bullwinkle in ’61. No new characters were added from 1940 – 47 as rubber was at a premium for the war effort. Surprisingly Hello Kitty made an appearance in 1976 and Kermit the Frog in 1977 (didn’t know Hello Kitty was that old). The 2000’s saw such stars as Sponge Bob Squarepants, Pikachu, Garfield and the M & M’s. This years new character is one of the Angry Birds (jeez!).
I know I haven’t watched it in years but it still draws a TV audience and well over a million people line the streets of New York watch it sail down Broadway.