I think we can all agree that the most integral part of Thanksgiving is spending time with loved ones and cultivating gratitude. However, many people would likely argue that other things are vital for a happy Thanksgiving as well. For example, maybe you believe that Thanksgiving is nothing without a few scrumptious dishes: turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie . . . Or maybe you feel that football is an integral component of the holiday. Or maybe you believe that Thanksgiving starts bright and early, with the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! People around the country tune into the parade each year, eager to catch the balloons, floats, and talented performers. Scroll down to learn some fun facts about the parade.
Fun Facts About the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Over 50 million people watch each year.
If you thought you were alone in your love of the parade, think again! On Thursday morning, families around the country (and around the world) flip on their televisions to watch the parade make its way through the streets of Manhattan. In addition to the 50 million viewers, over 8 thousand people participate in the parade as musicians, balloon wranglers, drivers, and more.
The parade has occurred almost every year since 1924.
If you can believe it, the parade began during the roaring ’20s! The event was started by Macy’s employees and featured real live animals from the Central Park Zoo in its inaugural year! It also didn’t mention Thanksgiving at all; instead, it focused entirely on Christmas as a way to market Macy’s brand-new store in Herald Square. Since then, the parade has occurred almost every year. It was canceled for three years during World War II, and a scaled-down version occurred in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, we’re thrilled that the parade will be back in full force!
Snoopy has been honored with eight different balloons over the years.
A perennial favorite, our favorite Peanuts puppy has flown over the streets of New York City in balloon-form many times. Eight different Snoopy balloons have made the journey, and a new Snoopy will join the club this year. Mickey Mouse is also a popular choice – four different Mickey balloons have taken part in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
For a few years, the parade included “balloon races.”
No, the balloons wouldn’t race each other down the street. What happened is that after the parade, several of the helium-filled balloons were released. They were designed to slowly leak the gas, allowing them to potentially float for 7 to 10 days. In 1928, anyone who found and returned a balloon would receive $100 as a reward. One of the balloons, a giant tiger, landed on the roof of a house in Long Island, where neighbors and passing drivers desperately ripped it apart in hopes of getting some reward money. The balloon races ended in 1932.
So this year, as you watch the parade with friends or loved ones, share some of these fun facts to spice up the conversation. You could even make a little game of it – whoever guesses the most numbers correctly gets the first slice of pumpkin pie!
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to enjoy your retirement in a lively and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to shop at local farmers markets or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the amenities and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.