Counting Down to Macy’s Parade

Counting Down to Macys Parade

Elizabeth DeLeo, Writer

Halloween has come and gone, so the next big holiday, Thanksgiving, is quickly approaching with all of its delicious foods. When it comes to Thanksgiving, most think about how much weight they are going to gain after dinner, or if they are old enough to sit at the adult table. However, there is one special event that takes place on Thanksgiving each year and captivates families across the country: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

The annual parade has been marching since 1924. Every year, millions of New Yorkers wait along the route of the parade to see all of the performers and balloons on their course. The parade is broadcast by various television channels, allowing millions of viewers to live the experience right from their living rooms. It may not be as much of an “American tradition” as turkey and mashed potatoes, but the parade still holds meaning.

Despite its popularity, Macy’s did not originate the idea of having a Thanksgiving Day parade. It actually came from Philadelphia’s Gimble Brothers Department Store, and they developed the first Thanksgiving day procession in 1920. This procession included 15 cars, 50 people, and a fireman who dressed up as Santa.

It wasn’t until R.H. Macy & Co’s store became public in 1922 and acquired competitors, which is when they they started the tradition of their Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 1924, the Macy’s Herald Square location opened, covering the entire city block from Seventh Avenue along 34th Street to Broadway. Since Macy’s wanted to publicize the opening of the “World’s Largest Store,” they decided to have the parade in the morning. Even though it takes place on Thanksgiving, the parade was designed to promote sales for the next holiday: Christmas.

The three-hour parade has become a holiday tradition. It consists of dozens of balloons, marching bands, cheerleaders, and celebrities. This year’s performers will be released in the coming weeks.  However, boys and girls will have to wait until the very end of the parade to get their first glimpse of Santa Claus, kicking off the Christmas season! Tune into the 90th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at 9 a.m. EST on NBC.