This Thanksgiving, Macy’s will celebrate it’s 90th Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which has been an annual event since 1924, is expected to draw an estimated 3 million spectators and 50 million television viewers, according the retail store. The holiday tradition has only grown in size and spectacle each year.
In its early years, the event consisted of a parade of zoo animals from the Central Park Zoo. The animals were said to scare small children so, the idea arose to use puppets and balloons instead. Puppets and balloons eventually gave way to floats and marching bands and Broadway performances and celebrities; all leading up to the incredible Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as we know it, today.
Check out our gallery below showing the evolution of the parade from its early years right up until today.
Felix the Cat – The first ever balloon to appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Mickey Mouse, the early years.
Ronald McDonald clowning around on his way down the parade route.
The Pink Panther lounging around in Times Square.
Snoopy searching for the Red Barron as he makes his way down the parade route.
Tom Turkey leads the parade in front of Macy’s store in New York City. Photo: Macy’s
The Rugrats and Spike balloons float through Times Square during the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
The world famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes!
The NYPD was honoring those killed in the 11 September terrorist attacks.
Spider-Man swings his way down the parade route.
A Buzz Lightyear balloon floats thru Times Sq during the 83rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger soars through the streets of New York City at the 89th annual Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Macy’s clowns bring joy and laughter to the millions of spectators that line the parade route each year.
Santa Claus’s arrival is perhaps the most anticipated part of the parade. Here, Santa attends the 89th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Source: ABC News and Entertainment Weekly