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A Closer Look at: Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

What's there to say about Thanksgiving? Food, family, food, and food. Okay, Thanksgiving isn't the greatest holiday around. But there is at least one thing to look forward to aside from the food and family, The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. The parade started in 1924 and has lasted since then. The parade was suspended from 1942-1944 due to World War Two. It was only first televised in 1952 by NBC and has been to this day. The parade lasts three hours starting at nine in the morning EST and has to this day. Announcers have been shuffled around over the years with the current ones being Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker. 

Before we talk about the parade, let's get into the setting to watch it. It's Thanksgiving morning, you're still in pajamas as your parents start prepping for dinner this evening and you turn on the TV and tune in for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

The Musicals:



With the parade taking place in historic New York City, it will highlight the city and some of what it has to offer by showcasing classic, current, and upcoming Broadway shows. The musicals are the first thing you see before the parade starts and as it makes its way down the route. They've had good ones over the years, but I tend to skip this part since I'm not big about Broadway unless it's something I'm really into like Wicked, Cirque Du Soleil, and some others. But hey, the ribbon has been cut and the parade is nearly here. Let's see what's coming.

The Floats:


A parade isn't complete without floats, this one is no exception. These floats are made in a separate studio in New York City that is owned by Macy's and are stored there when not in use. The floats are usually made for sponsors of the parade as we usually see the same floats or redesigns of them from the same sponsor. They are extremely detailed and have came, went, and occasionally returned. The mainstays have been Tom the Turkey and Santa's sleigh since they are the most notable and have been there the longest. I love these from a crafting and design standpoint. The attention to detail and the planning of some of the unique designs mesmerizes me each year. But enough about the floats, look up at those cool balloons.

The Balloons:


                                               Source:                   content/uploads/2016/11/macysthanksgivingpikachu169_thumb.jpg

The Macy's parade is also known for their balloons. They tend to be cycled more than the floats, though the quality is no less than the floats. However they are subject to the weather, specifically the wind. If it's too windy out they will either lower them or take them out. Each year they raise the quality of these balloons which I love. They add new ones once in a while and redesign old ones that have aged and faded. I love the Pikachu one because it's more festive than the other balloons of pop culture. Do you hear that? Sounds like a band is about to play.

The Music:


So we have the balloons and floats for this parade, what's missing? Music of course. Marching bands are selected from across the country to play at the parade. There are musicians as well, usually current artists and a couple classic artists either playing current hits or the songs that made them famous. Some will play Christmas songs too if they are towards the end. I usually enjoy this part, though over the years it has gotten harder to enjoy it due to either my own tastes or the act just not being good. But there is at least one or two that I enjoy each year. Are you hearing sleigh bells along with the music? I am, that means only one thing, Santa has come to town.

Santa Claus:


There is still one float left in the parade, and that is Santa's Sleigh. This not only marks the end of the parade, but the start of the Christmas/holiday shopping season as he makes his way through the route with his reindeer, elves, and his bag full of presents. It brings a bit of joy to me as an adult when I see this float especially after the refurbishment in 2009. 

With that, the parade is over as family starts showing up for dinner and you have to get ready. 

Watching the parade has been a tradition for me since I was a kid and it still makes me smile to this day. So chow down on that turkey, stuff your face with stuffing, shove pie in your pie hole, and take a nap afterwards as you have a happy Thanksgiving and remember to live life and live nostalgic. 


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Vaporman87 Posted on Nov 06, 2017 at 08:50 AM

You and I share an affinity for the parade. It really does make Thanksgiving Day worth waking up early for. Thanks for this affectionate look at a really cool tradition!

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