The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is held every Thanksgiving Day in New York City.
Originally called the Macy’s Christmas Parade, it was first held in 1924 and has been canceled only thrice (1942, 1943, 1944) due to rubber shortages during World War II.
The two and a half mile parade features large balloons of well-known characters alongside floats and marching bands, ending with a float of Santa Claus upon his sleigh, marking the start of the Christmas season.
Interestingly, all performers in the parade, including those appearing through Sesame Workshop and others, must become “employees” of Macy’s.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was first held in 1924 and has been canceled only thrice due to rubber shortages during World War II
Celebrating its 87th anniversary, the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the official kick-off of the holiday season. Every year, the Parade is seen by more than 3 million people who line the streets of New York and another 50 million people who tune into NBC to watch the giant balloons, one-of-a-kind floats, the nation’s best marching bands, hundreds of cheering clowns and a host of celebrities.
On Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 9 a.m., the dazzling spectacle begins. Stepping off with its signature giant helium character balloons, fantasy-filled floats, marching bands, performance groups and a gaggle of clowns, America’s Parade is a non-stop pomp and pageantry for spectators young and old.
Stepping off from 77th Street and Central Park West, the Macy’s Parade will march down to Columbus Circle, where it will turn onto Central Park South, before making its way straight down midtown Manhattan on 6th Avenue from 59th to 34th Streets. The Parade concludes with its final turn onto 34th Street in front of Macy’s Herald Square. The Macy’s Parade route offers over two miles of public viewing.
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The annual New York City Sidewalk Santa Parade has been canceled after more than a century due to rising costs involved in organizing the event.
The Sidewalk Santas, who for a century have marched up Fifth Avenue the morning after Thanksgiving to collect donations from Black Friday shoppers, are hanging up their suits.
NYC Sidewalk Santa Parade was an annual tradition organized by the Volunteers of America-Greater New York to raise money for its Hope & Hearth campaign, which last year gave over 1,200 families vouchers for groceries during the holiday season, communications director Rachel Weinstein said.
The annual New York City Sidewalk Santa Parade has been canceled after more than a century due to rising costs involved in organizing the event
However, the one-day parade of about 50 bell-ringing volunteers never raised much money and the cost of storing, cleaning and transporting dozens of Santa suits was rising, Rachel Weinstein said.
“We wanted to expand the food voucher program and we needed to find ways to raise more money, and save money (where) we weren’t doing it before,” Rachel Weinstein said.
“In reality it wasn’t raising the money we need for this program.”
The tradition began in 1896 when Ballington Booth, the son of the Salvation Army founders, traveled by horse-drawn carriage across the city to deliver hot holiday meals to hungry New Yorkers.
With more hungry families in the city now than at any time since the Great Depression, Weinstein said cutting the parade costs was a practical decision. The group also takes private donations through its website, www.hopeandhearth.org.
Instead of the parade, the group has set up a collection bin at the Plaza Hotel to collect donations from the parents who bring their children to sit on the lap of the Plaza’s Santa.
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The 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns to kick-off this year’s holidays with its giant balloons, floats of fancy, marching bands, celebrities and, of course, Santa Claus.
Duck Dynasty cast will join Goo Goo Dolls, Kristen Chenoweth, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Sharon Jones, The Dap Kings, and Gavin DeGraw for this year’s parade. Jimmy Fallon will also make an appearance along with NFL Legend Joe Namath. There will also be performances by the Radio City Rockettes and Broadway’s best musicals including “Matilda,” “Motown” and more. The Big Apple Circus, Sesame Street and Cirque du Soleil will also get into the act.
On Thursday, November 28, the newest Snoopy balloon will take flight along with his pal Woodstock marking another record-setting stint in the holiday spectacle. The Charles M. Schulz classic comic character will soar in his 37th Macy’s Parade, cementing Snoopy’s long-standing record for most appearances and most balloon versions, seven in total since the 1960s.
A mythical dragon will also spotted over the skies of New York City. Toothless, the star of Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon will be joining an incredible lineup of giant helium-filled balloons.
Also, this Thanksgiving the beauty and majesty of the sea will come to life on the streets of New York as SeaWorld’s A Sea of Surprises float debuts.
The 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns to kick-off this year’s holidays
The Minions of Despicable Me 2 are also set to create mayhem aboard their new float this November that will surely delight parade fans from around the country. The 33-foot long bake shop-themed float will feature 3-1/2 foot tall cupcakes.
The parade will also honor the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz with a 47-foot hot air balloon featuring Dorothy and other characters from the classic film.
From new giant characters helium balloons including Paul Frank’s iconic monkey Julius and Sonic the Hedgehog, to out-of–this world floats including Zhu-niverse and Frozen Fall Fun, the magic begins at the sound of Let’s Have A Parade. This iconic phrase has catapulted gaggles of clowns, exciting performance groups, pulse-pounding marching bands, celebrities and the one-and-only Santa Claus down the streets of Manhattan for 87 years of unrivaled wonder.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will step-off at 77th Street and Central Park West. The procession will travel down to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down a new path via 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas to 34th Street. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square. This incredible cavalcade will make its way down 6th Avenue, a broader, more accessible path that marks only the seventh time the Parade has changed its route.
The parade will begin at 9 a.m. and end at noon.
A Holiday Treat for Children Everywhere, the motto of the Macy’s parade has stood for 86 years and will continue to usher in the season of joy for years to come.
More information on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is available to the general public at www.macys.com/parade or via the Parade Hotline at (212) 494-4495.
To view the balloons being filled with helium click here.
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