Thanksgiving is here, and with it come the usual Thanksgiving traditions. Food and football are among them, but a close third is Thanksgiving parades. They celebrate the holiday and officially begin a month’s long celebration of Christmas. The chief parade among all others on Thanksgiving is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which celebrates it’s 82’nd gathering today.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has become legendary for many reasons. The parade is set in New York, which is used to large processions as it is. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is also the go-to gathering to see giant, larger than life floats of cartoon characters and icons.
Starting at 9 a.m., the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will go down Broadway, from 77’th to 34’th Street. Over 3.5 million people will get to see ten marching bands come on down, along with clowns, cheerleaders and 28 gigantic floats.
This year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade welcomes Buzz Lightyear, Horton and one of the Smurfs among its fraternity of floats.
When the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicked off in 1924, it was a Christmas parade. Felix the Cat became the first parade float, as the floats helped attendance rise to over one million revelers by 1933. NBC broadcast the parade for the first time in 1939.
The parade was suspended during the war, but returned with over 2 million celebrating in 1945.
As floats got bigger and bigger for the parade, many of them occasionally collapsed into the crowd or escaped. Heavy winds are also a huge problem for floats. In 1997, winds caused a Cat in the Hat float to crash into a lamp post, which hit someone in the head and resulted in a lawsuit. But light winds are the forecast for this year’s parade.
Over the decades, cartoon characters like Underdog, Mighty Mouse, Donald Duck, Kermit the Frog, and especially Snoopy have been star floats at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
But floats aren’t the only stars of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Miley Cyrus, David Archuleta, Sugarland, James Taylor and more will be performing throughout the day. Someone named Santa Claus is also expected to make a last minute guest star turn.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is on NBC, hosted by the Today Show gang, from 9 a.m. to noon.
TIME- “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1862565,00.html
Hollywood Hookup- “Miley Cyrus, David Archulete Perform at Macy’s Thanksgiving” www.thinkfashion.com/blogs/stylosity_hollywood_hookup/archive/2008/11/27/miley-cyrus-david-archuleta-perform-at-macy-s-thanksgiving-day-parade-2008.aspx