Ah, Thanksgiving. We love Thanksgiving here at Xyza because we get to spend time with friends and family, reflect on what we’re thankful for, and eat lots of turkey! We also love Thanksgiving for all of its traditions. We never really understood this one, but the President of the United States pardons a turkey on the White House lawn every year. Lucky bird! There’s also the tradition of watching or playing football before, during, or after the day-long feasting. Or how about those Black Friday sales where it seems like everything is on—you guessed it—sale!
But all sarcasm aside, Thanksgiving just wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving without some of these traditions. Take the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—it’s an event that brings millions of people to the streets of New York City, New York, to watch gigantic character balloons float down the streets of Manhattan. How gigantic? We’re talking about balloons that, on average, are as tall as a five-foot story building!
This year’s parade will feature seventeen balloons, thousands of performers, and many more volunteers to pull off the three-hour long parade. Not going to be in Manhattan this Thanksgiving? No worries because the parade will also be broadcast on NBC. Now sit back, relax, and let us take you through a few interesting facts about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to prepare you for the big event:
1) The parade began in 1924 as a Christmas parade to celebrate the opening of their new store. There were no balloons in that parade, rather there were live animals such as elephants and tigers from the Central Park Zoo strutting their stuff along the parade route.
2) It wasn’t until 1927 that gigantic character balloons entered the parade. Felix the Cat was one of the first balloons to make an appearance at the parade.
3) Although the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual tradition, it was canceled from 1942-1944 because of World War II.
4) Snoopy has made the most appearances in the parade with thirty-nine appearances. The last time that he made an appearance was in 2015.
5) Wonder how these balloons are inflated? You can watch the balloons being inflated on the day before the parade!
6) Each balloon requires an average of ninety handlers (or people controlling the balloon). To volunteer for the job of balloon handler, you must be at least 120 pounds and in good health.
7) On average, it takes ninety minutes to inflate a balloon, but it only takes fifteen minutes to deflate it.
8) Making their first-ever appearance at the parade are Olaf from Frozen, Jett from Super Wings, Chase from Paw Patrol, and the Grinch from the Dr. Seuss books.