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History & Biography

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's has been the flagship department store of New York City since 1902 when it opened on Herald Square. It eventually expanded to cover almost an entire city block. In 1924, the store's employees were largely immigrants and wanted to celebrate their various heritages with a parade. They deemed it the "Macy's Christmas Parade" and on Thanksgiving Day, 250,000 New Yorkers lined the streets to watch costumed performers, floats, bands, and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo march six miles through Manhattan.

Here are some other things you may not know about the parade.

Today, an average of 3.5 million people line the streets of New York to see the 2.5 mile parade and another 50 million watch it on network television. The parade features over a dozen balloons, 30 floats, 1500 dancers and cheerleaders, and marching bands from all over the country. It requires more than 8,000 participants to pull it off successfully. It truly is an American Thanksgiving tradition.

Want to see it? Tune in to NBC at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28, and impress your friends and family with your newfound historic knowledge of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Check out more information about the parade and other Thanksgiving traditions at your favorite branch of The Library:

 Inside Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade History Channel DVD

 

 

 

 

 America's Parade: A Celebration of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade by The Editors of LIFE Magazine

 

 

 

 Thanksgiving: How To Cook It Well by Sam Sifton

 

 

 

 

 The New Thanksgiving Table: An American Celebration of Family, Friends, and Food by Diane Morgan

 

 

 

 The Thanksgiving Ceremony: New Traditions for America's Family Feast by Edward Bleier

 

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