Just as the turkey is a tradition on the table, watching the 94th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is also synonymous with Thanksgiving.
Dolly Parton will be on Cracker Barrel’s Home Sweet Home float performing “A Holly Jolly Christmas.” In addition, other local artists who will appear in the parade include Lauren Alaina, Brett Young, and Jimmie Allen with Noah Cyrus.
This year’s parade will look different with no participants allowed on the path to view the floats along the route which has been shortened from its normal two-half mile. Everyone will be able to watch the annual event which will be televised beginning at 9 am.
Beginning in 1924, the tradition has been long-held and noted for its giant inflatable character balloons, floats, and more. But did you know the parade was a radio broadcast before becoming televised in 1946 on NBC?
Below are five other interesting facts about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
- Originally, it was a Christmas parade. The first parade was organized in 1924 with floats, bands, and animals from the zoo. Three years later, the parade was renamed to the Thanksgiving parade.
- The large balloons came to the parade in 1927. Mickey Mouse first made an appearance in 1934 and each year since then. The tradition in the early years was at the end of the parade to allow the balloons to float away, if you were lucky enough to find one, you could find a Macy’s gift card inside.
- For the parade, there are typically 4,000 volunteers. Each balloon has a balloon pilot who leads the handlers through the parade while walking backward the entire time.
- The parade’s floats and balloons are built in a former tootsie roll factory in New Jersey but in order to make it to the start of the parade, they must size down to fit thru the Lincoln Tunnel.
- There have been a few mishaps over the years. In 1957, a wet day got wetter for people near a Popeye balloon when the character’s hat filled with water and drenched parade watchers. It happened again in 1962 with a Donald Duck hat. And one year Superman lost an arm in a tree branch.