A History Of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Holiday’s Most Famous Celebration – CBS New York

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Nothing embodies the spirit of the vacation just like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

For 95 years, it’s develop into a Thanksgiving Day staple, stories CBS2’s Steve Overmyer.

All of it started in 1924 with a procession simply two blocks lengthy and that includes animals from the Central Park Zoo.

“It should’ve been so magical and unbelievable,” stated Valerie Paley, chief historian on the New-York Historic Society. “Apparently sufficient, by 1927, they stopped with the zoo animals as a result of they scared the kids somewhat an excessive amount of together with means.”

The parade was initially often called the Christmas Parade as a means for the nation’s largest retailer to jumpstart the season of buying.

“Culminating on the finish of the parade with Santa Claus unveiling the vacation home windows on 34th Road,” stated Paley.

Santa isn’t the one star of the present. When the zoo animals had been changed by big balloons, on the finish of the parade the helium-filled balloons had been launched over Manhattan.

“The thought was they might launch them and there was a return to sender label on them, and they might come again to Macy’s,” stated Paley.

An inflated Popeye floats above the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York because it nears Occasions Sq. in 1961. (Picture by William Lovelace/Specific/Getty Pictures)

As a substitute of ready for them to return to the bottom, a scholar pilot tried to wrangle Felix the Cat whereas it was floating. It received tangled in her biplane and crashed. Fortuitously, each the pilot and copilot survived.

Over time the balloons have thrilled kids and adults alike, getting greater and greater yearly.

The first balloons floated near the bottom, however even then their enemy was the wind. The solely time the wind was too robust to fly any balloons was 1971.

Maneuvering via Manhattan is a bit harder than elsewhere, “when you think about how huge Central Park West is, and the remainder of the streets of New York are in comparison with different American cities, but additionally how huge the balloons are,” stated Paley.

Some balloons attain six tales and require as much as 100 handlers. In 1991, Kermit the Frog received snagged on a tree at Central Park. Two years later Barney the Dinosaur’s battle with a light-weight pole led him to an analogous destiny.

Whereas balloons have been the celebs, from the start the workhorses have been the floats.

As soon as simply fabric masking a truck, floats have developed into one thing extra sensational.

“You see one thing that’s quintessential New York,” stated Paley. “The crowds, the joy, the marching band. It’s such a celebration of the season. New York is such an amplifier of nice issues and this parade isn’t any exception.”

From Felix the Cat, to Tom Turkey, to Santa Claus, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade embraces a convention that continues to carry individuals collectively.

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