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Interesting Facts About Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

When you tune into the parade this year with your kids, share these fun facts about the legendary event.

If you're like me, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is as necessary a tradition on Thanksgiving morning as wearing stretchy pants during the big meal.

This year, as many parades cancel or go virtual, Macy's 94th Annual Thanksgiving Parade is making the necessary adjustments to keep th holiday magic going.

This year’s parade will look different with no participants allowed on the path to view the floats along the route which has been shortened from its normal two-half mile. Everyone will be able to watch the annual event which will be televised beginning at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

How Dolly Parton Became TV's Patron Saint of Christmas. - PRIMETIMER

That's not all, Tennessee's beloved Dolly Parton will be on Cracker Barrel’s Home Sweet Home float performing “A Holly Jolly Christmas.” Other local artists who will appear in the parade include Lauren Alaina, Brett Young, and Jimmie Allen with Noah Cyrus.

 

Below are six other interesting facts about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to go virtual due to ongoing pandemic |  EW.com

50 

The number, in millions, of viewers who tune in to watch the parade each year, which starts at 9 am EST. Add that to the more than 8,000 parade participants and 3.5 million on-site spectators and you’ve got a whole lot of eyes! 

 

94

The number of times that the parade has gone on. It was started by Macy’s employees in 1924 and featured real animals from the Central Park Zoo, including elephants, lions, and tigers. They’ve marched every year since, which the exception of three years during World War II. 

 

The number of balloons featured in 1927, the first time the infamous floaters were used. The cast of characters: Felix the Cat, a dragon, and a toy soldier. In 1929, helium was first used to fill the balloons. As a grand finale, the balloons were released at the end of the parade. But, much to the surprise of organizers and spectators, they burst in the air when they got too high!

 

650 

The pounds of scrap rubber that were donated to the government for use in World War II when Macy’s suspended the parade for three years due to rubber and helium shortages. They actually donated all the balloons to the war effort. 

 

The number of different Snoopy balloons that have flown over Manhattan throughout the years, prior to the newest Snoopy debuting this year. There have also been 4 different Mickey balloons. 

 

80

The tallest balloon height, in feet, that the Macy's Day Parade had introduced. An 80-foot Superman made his first appearance in the 1980 parade and has since set the record for tallets balloon. Interestingly enough, this massive balloon can also fold up small enough to be trucked through the Lincoln Tunnel the night before! 

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing and Entertainment Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 18-month-old Ezra.