Thursday, November 24, 2011


by Maria Geraci

Happy Turkey Day everyone! I hope your day is filled with good food, good company and many blessings. I'll be spending today with my family in central Florida right here. Yep, just a hop, skip and jump from Disney World, shopping, and lots of golf (for the guys), so everyone will be happy.

Despite the fact that I won't be home, I'll still start out my Thanksgiving morning the same way I have for decades. By watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV!

Now, I love parades, but there is no finer parade than the Macy's parade and Thanksgiving without it would be like... well, like a Thanksgiving day without turkey. So I thought it would be fun to dig up a few parade stats.

For example, did you know that:

The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was in 1924 and was actually called the Macy's Christmas Day parade (although it was on Thanksgiving Day).

The first parade featured real live animals from the Central Park Zoo (no big animal balloons!)

The parade was cancelled in 1942, 1943 and 1944 due to WWII.

In 1927, Macy's introduced their world famous giant helium balloons. The first balloons were of Felix the cat and the toy soldier.

Macy's is the world's second largest consumer of helium. The US government is the first (for some strange reason, I find this fascinating).

Originally, the giant balloons were released in the air at the end of the parade. The balloons had a "return label" on them and anyone who found one and returned it to Macy's, received a prize.
In 1932, an aviator almost crashed his plane after attempting to catch the Cat balloon. As a result of this near disaster, the parade discontinued the practice of releasing the balloons.

Due to a helium shortage in 1958, the balloons were brought down Broadway on cranes.

Santa Claus closes out the parade every year, except in 1933 when he led the parade, but my favorite part of the parade is without doubt, Snoopy!


  1. Maria, thanks for the fun post today! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

  2. Cool post and loved the facts and figures--I did not know that about the balloon release they used to do.

    We have a good parade here in Chicagoland, but I love the Macy's best, always have. When I lived in NY in the late 80's I lived off of 72nd and Columbus and had a quick walk up to the Museum of Natural History at 77th where you could go the night before and watch the balloons being inflated and lined up. But, like many NYers I only went to the parade itself about twice (and THAT only took going just a block away to stand up along Central Park West!) and the inflating I went to one night when back in town for a few days after moving away from NY! You know how it is: you never do the tourist stuff when you live there.

    But I still watch on television each year and with our running of various Turkey Trot races around here it's been great that we can set the recorder and I don't have to miss any of it. My favorite part is the end, when Santa arrives. I always cry when I see that part. Something about it is so touching to me, brings back so much emotion from childhood holidays.

    Thanks and happy Thanksgiving to all.

  3. I'm watching, too. Only this year it's on the TV. Next year we're back to the the spot actually mentioned by Vicky above!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  4. Thanks for the fun post. Learned a lot!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!



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