Thanksgiving Day Parade
Issue Date: September 9, 2009
City: New York, NY
New York City’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the “longest-running show on Broadway.” Alongside turkey dinner and pumpkin pie, it is one of the holiday’s best-known traditions.
An idea that began in 1924 with a group of Macy’s department store employees has grown into an American custom. Today, more than 3.5 million live spectators and 50 million television viewers are entertained by the pomp and pageantry that is the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Every year, the best high school and college bands in the country march down Broadway on Thanksgiving morning. The heartbeat of the parade, marching bands get the crowd moving to their rhythmic beats.
Giant balloons are also crowd pleasers. The balloons first appeared in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927, replacing the live zoo animals that frightened some children. Larger than life and lighter than air, these soaring giants enchant children of all ages.
The grand finale of every New York City Thanksgiving Day Parade is the float carrying Santa Claus. His arrival signals to everyone that the holidays have arrived. As his reindeer lead the sleigh into Herald Square, they usher in the transition to the Christmas season.