The history behind Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


Sophie Collins, Writer

Every Thanksgiving, news stations will be playing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s been a tradition for many families across the country to watch it or at least have it on their television. The parade happens in New York— it starts in uptown Manhattan and ends in Herald Square. The parade consists of many big balloon characters, several floats, groups of musical stars and of course, Santa Claus. 

“My favorite thing about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is all the floats,” junior Jillian Shanahan said. 

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1914, making it the second oldest parade in the United States. When the parade first started it wasn’t called the Thanksgiving Day Parade, it was called the Macy’s Christmas Parade. The parade began with just three floats, a few animals from the local zoo and Santa at the end, which is a continued tradition to this day. 

“I started watching the parade when I was really young,” Shanahan said. “Every Thanksgiving my parents would have it on the TV for us to watch.” 

The parade used to be run just by Macy’s employees in hopes to convince people to shop for Christmas gifts at Macy’s. Now the parade consists of much more than just advertisements for Macy’s. The parade is known for its big blow up floats and its amazing sneak peeks into plays, dances and local marching bands.  

“I feel the parade is most well known for the finale,” Shanahan said, “because it closes with a lot of cool stuff.”

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the most well-known Thanksgiving parade in America, according to TimeOut. Between the giant floats, balloons, marching bands, dancers and actors, this parade is one many will tune in to watch on Thanksgiving morning.  

Anyone can watch the parade on NBC or Peacock from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.