When & Why Did the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Start?

Did you know that the Macys Thanksgiving Day parade has been taking place for over 75 years? Its amazing to think so, but it is true. And, because of its history the Macys Thanksgiving Day parade has really become embedded in American culture for Thanksgiving.

Back in the 1920s there were many immigrants who worked at Macys Department Store. They were excited to be in America and wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving. However, they also wanted to incorporate some of the flair and excitement they were accustomed to from festivals and celebrations in Europe. So, the immigrants dressed up like clowns, knights, sheiks, and cowboys and paraded from 145th street to 34th street. There were also animals, bands, and floats that made up the parade. More than 250,000 people came out to see the parade and it was certainly a success!

So, the parade continued and each and every year the crowds grew and so did the parade. Huge balloons became part of the parade and were released for a lucky person to fid and claim a prize. This no longer takes place, but it was a fun part of the parade. Even during the Depression crowds reached close to one million people. However, early 1940 resulted in a cessation of the parade because of the war and the helium and rubber simply couldnt be used for fun when it was needed elsewhere. Plus, most folks werent in a celebratory mood during World War II.

In 1945 the parade returned and took the route that it still follows to the present day. IN addition, it was the first year the parade was actually televised! Now more people across the country could see the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade! By the 1950s the televised parade had really hooked America and become a Thanksgiving Day tradition. Also, celebrities started making appearances in the parade.

The Macys Thanksgiving Day parade really became part of New Yorks Thanksgiving Day and set the tune for the coming Christmas season. With the television more and more Americans across the nation began including Macys Thanksgiving Day parade as part of their Thanksgiving celebrations.