The Longest Running Thanksgiving Day Parade is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This iconic event takes place annually in New York City on the fourth Thursday of November and has been a beloved holiday tradition for over 90 years.
The first Macy's parade was held in 1924 and featured live animals from the Central Park Zoo, including elephants, camels, and donkeys. Over the years, the parade has evolved to include a stunning display of enormous helium-filled character balloons, marching bands, performance groups, and of course, Santa Claus to mark the start of the holiday season.
The parade starts at 77th Street and Central Park West and travels down a 2.5-mile route along Sixth Avenue to Macy's flagship store at Herald Square. The route is lined with thousands of spectators who come from all over the world to witness this spectacular event.
One of the highlights of the parade are the giant character balloons, which are created in-house by the Macy's Parade Studio. These balloons can be up to 60 feet tall and weigh as much as 100 pounds when filled with helium. Some of the most famous balloons include Snoopy, Charlie Brown, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the beloved holiday classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
In addition to the balloons, the parade features a variety of performance groups, including marching bands, dance groups, and acrobatic troupes, that add to the festive atmosphere of the event. The parade is also a platform for talented musicians to showcase their skills, with famous performers like Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond, and Tony Bennett having graced the parade route over the years.
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is not only a beloved holiday tradition in New York City, but it is also televised to a national audience on NBC, reaching millions of viewers across the country. It is a true celebration of American culture and the start of the holiday season, and it continues to be an unforgettable experience for both participants and spectators alike.