For your enjoyment on Turkey Day, A short history of the wondrous New York City Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade the fine folks at Manhattan User's Guide
first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was in 1924, a long route that
started at 145th and Convent and stretched to 34th Street. They borrowed
some animals from the Central Park Zoo to liven things up. The giraffe had to stay home because it wouldn't fit under the elevated tracks.
the first couple of parades, when it became apparent that the animals
weren't as kid-friendly as Macy's might have liked, they asked
theatrical designer Tony Sarg to come up with some animal-shaped
balloons. Felix the Cat, one of the first, was made at the Goodyear Tire
company in Akron, Ohio in 1927.
a few years the balloons were released after the parade and anyone who
found one was entitled to a reward at Macy's. But this was stopped in
1933 after a student pilot stalled her engine over Jamaica Bay trying to
snag a cat balloon and two tugboats in the East River tore the
dachshund balloon apart.
By 1934, Walt Disney characters such as
Mickey Mouse and Pluto joined the parade. During WWII, the rubber
balloons were donated to the war effort and the parade didn't resume
until 1947. It then began to develop as we know it: floats, celebrities,
bigger and better balloons, and national TV coverage.
Happy Thanksgiving! Here are some photos from the 85th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade: