How It Started:
Originally called “The Macy’s Christmas Parade,” it came about in 1924, after first-generation Macy’s employees suggested a European-style festival to celebrate this very American holiday. It featured store employees as well as animals from the Central Park Zoo. It’s actually the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the U.S., tied with “America’s Thanksgiving Parade” in Detroit. (The oldest such parade is the 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, which first appeared in 1920.)
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been televised nationally on NBC since 1952.
Where It Goes:
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins on 77th Street and Central Park West and travels to its ultimate destination at Macy’s Herald Square.
Who’s Marching, Who’s Floating:
The 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will include Hello Kitty, Spider-Man, Pikachu, Buzz Lightyear and Spongebob Squarepants, among other giant balloons. There were also floats representing Dora the Explorer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cirque du Soleil and of course, Santa. And for human entertainment, Kellie Pickler, Gavin DeGraw and the Goo Goo Dolls will be marching by.
Where to Watch:
If you don’t feel up to braving the crowds or the cold, you can watch the parade on Thanksgiving day on NBC-4, from 9AM to Noon, with hosts Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie of NBC’s “Today Show.”
A very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!