On this day in history, November 27, first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held in NYC

The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade was held on this day in history, Nov. 27, 1924, and took place on the streets of New York City. 

A far cry from the hours-long parades of the modern era, the parade in 1924 was a much simpler affair — and was not even centered on the Thanksgiving holiday. 

“Macy’s Christmas Parade,” as it was called, kicked off at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day in 1924. 

The parade had none of the larger-than-life balloons it is known for today, but it did have animals from the nearby Central Park Zoo.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, NOVEMBER 26

The parade route was six miles long, starting in Harlem and going to Herald Square — the home of Macy’s Herald Square flagship store, as the History Channel’s website noted. 

At the time, Macy’s had just finished an expansion of its Herald Square store. The parade was intended as both a celebration of the new expansion and a way to advertise for the upcoming Christmas season.

The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 1924 — called the Macy’s Christmas Parade — featured floats inspired by nursery rhymes, such as this “Little Miss Muffet” float. (Macy’s)

And while the parade route was six miles long, the parade itself was only two blocks, notes the History Channel.

Spectators could watch the parade in “just a matter of minutes,” the site pointed out. 

The parade had floats that matched the nursery-rhyme theme of the Christmas windows on display at Macy’s that year, said History.com.

MEET THE AMERICAN WHO GAVE THE NATION OUR THANKSGIVING ORIGIN STORY: PILGRIM EDWARD WINSLOW

These included “There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe,” “Little Miss Muffet,” and “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Macy’s employees were in costume as clowns, cowboys and knights to further complement the nursery-rhyme theme. 

Santa Claus in a parade float

The 1924 Macy’s Christmas parade ended with the arrival of Santa Claus — a tradition that continues to this day. (Macy’s)

The parade ended with a float featuring Santa Claus and his reindeer. 

The tradition of Santa’s arrival at the end of the parade continues to this day. 

The parade has been held every Thanksgiving — except for the years 1942-1944 during World War II.

Santa Claus has ended the parade each year, except for 1932 — when he led the parade, said Macy’s website. 

The parade proved to be very popular. An estimated 10,000 people came out to watch the parade, and Macy’s vowed it would hold another one the following year. 

ARIZONA GRANDMOTHER AND THE STRANGER SHE MISTAKENLY TEXTED IN 2016 WILL CELEBRATE 8TH THANKSGIVING TOGETHER

The parade has been held every single Thanksgiving, except for the years 1942-1944 during World War II.

Felix the cat balloon

The decision to feature live animals at the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade did not last long. Instead, the live animals were replaced by balloons. Felix the Cat, in front — the first balloon — debuted in 1927. (George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has undergone many changes throughout the years. 

While the first parade had live bears, elephants, camels and monkeys, the animals did not handle the long route and the screaming crowds very well — and did not make a return. 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

They were replaced instead with the now-iconic balloons, which debuted in 1927, according to the website for Architectural Digest. 

Although the parade route itself is now much shorter — only about 2.5 miles — the number of people and floats in the parade has grown considerably since 1924. 

Turkey float in parade

The Tom Turkey float is seen at the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 23, 2023, in New York City. This year’s parade featured an estimated 5,000 volunteers. (Wang Fan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

In 2023, the parade featured “5,000 volunteers, 16 featured character balloons, 26 fantastic floats, 32 heritage and novelty balloons, more than 700 clowns, 12 marching bands and nine performance groups,” said Macy’s website. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

This year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started at 8:30 a.m., half an hour earlier than it ever had before. 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle

#

Disclaimer : The content in this article is for educational and informational purposes only.