On this day in 1924, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City
November 27, 2023
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 27 of November, repeating indefinitely
On this day in 1924, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City. Famous for its marching bands, floats, musical performances, and (of course) huge balloons, the parade began as a way to showcase Macy’s growing success. With a focus on Christmas (not Thanksgiving), the parade helped advertise the popular department store as the holiday shopping season began.
Did you know? Balloons did not make their debut until 1927. These first balloons included a dinosaur, turkeys, a dachshund, and Felix the Cat. Thanks to the parade, Macy’s is one of the largest consumers of helium in the world (!) – only the U.S. government uses more.
Prior to Macy’s parade, the only Thanksgiving parade in NYC was an informal gathering of children with painted faces and tattered clothing (“ragamuffins”) who begged passersby for treats.
Broadway from the Post Office (Wall Street), Colin Campbell Cooper, c. 1909