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The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Turns 90

11/22/2016 at 3:32 | CeAndria Jones // Staff Writer
Photo Credit: a katz / Shutterstock.com

An American Holiday tradition is celebrating its 90th birthday this Thursday!

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is turning 90 this week and so much has changed since its debut! Back in 1924, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade brought in the holiday season with colorful costumes, stunning floats and live animals from nearby zoos but of course it became bigger as the years went on!

Take a look at all of the fun facts about the past 90 years of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

1. The First-generation European immigrants that were employees at Macy’s Department Store in the 1920’s came up with the idea for the parade because they wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving with a festival that was reminiscent of the ones they’re parents attended in Europe!

2. The first parade was actually Christmas themed and was known as the Macy’s Christmas Parade

3. After the first parade, Macy’s declared it an annual event because of its success and attendance of over half-a-million people.

4. From 1929-1931, parade balloons were released intentionally in order for spectators to participate in a scavenger hunt for them. Those successful in finding the balloons would then receive gift certificates worth up to $50.

5. The first ever character balloon was Felix the Cat in the parade back in 1931.

6. Celebrities in the likes of Benny Goodman and Harpo Marx began to make appearances in the parade during the 1930s!

7. Back in the day lions, tigers, camels, goats, elephants and donkeys marched in the parade procession until they decided to replace live animals with balloons to avoid scaring children.

8. The only time that Santa Claus did not serve as the parade’s finale was in 1933 when he led the parade!

9. The parade was canceled from 1942 to 1944 as a result of World War II since rubber and helium were needed for combat efforts. Macy’s then deflated its rubber balloons and donated them to the U.S. government. This is also the reason why the parade is only celebrating 90 years and not 92 years!

10. Snoopy has appeared in the parade more than any other character. He first debuted in 1968 and has been in the procession for 39 times.

CeAndria Jones is a millennial writer with a passion for music, pop culture and of course, 90s nostalgia.

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