Macy’s Day Parade
Every year, Macy’s hosts its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan which attracts more than 3.5 million people to the streets of New York City each year, as well 50 million TV viewers nationwide. The parade lasts three hours long and completes a 2.6 mile course. It is said to be the most widely holiday parade celebrated in the United States. In order to fully understand this magnificent performance, one has to understand its history and the work put into it to make the parade what it is.
Macy’s put its first Thanksgiving Day Parade together in 1924. It was put together by its employees, many of whom emigrated to America from Europe and wanted to celebrate the holiday. The parade followed a route from 145th Street and Convent Avenue to the Macy’s store at 34th Street and Broadway. This parade hosted three floats, which were pulled by horses, four bands, and animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. The animals proved to be too frightening for the children, so in 1927, they were replaced by the signature giant balloons. In 1929, Macy’s offered a $50 reward to anyone who returns any balloons that the store released into the air after the parade. This was later banned in 1932 because of dangerous acts that included pilots trying to catch balloons with their planes. From 1942 to 1944, the iconic parade was cancelled because of World War II. The rubber that was used for the balloons was instead being sent off to the army in an effort to help the cause. When the parade returned in 1945, it was bigger and more grand than any of its past occurrences. Also, this was the first year when the parade was broadcasted on television. The parade has grown ever since.
It is no easy task putting together a parade this grand and making it better than the previous year’s. It all happens at Macy’s Parade Studio where workers work from Wednesday morning through the night until the kickoff of the parade at 9 A.M on Thursday. These miracle workers create the signature balloons, the floats, and organize all the small details of the parade. The painters, welders, sculptors, carpenters, and engineers bring ideas to life. Without them, visitors would never see the giant spider-man, the snoopy balloon, or even any of the floats that make the parade what it is. If this stress isn’t enough, the workers also have to worry about the weather conditions, or any other mishaps that can occur along the way that can ruin the experience. Any small mistake can lead to big problems when the floats and balloons are on the street. Nevertheless, each year, spectators are amazed at this creation, and the workers go home feeling satisfied.
The history and the work put into it make Macy’s Day Parade the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season. It is widely viewed and appreciated around the nation, and has never let down its standards. Macy’s continues to impress audiences nationwide and will keep doing so for as long as they can.