The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Floats, Fun, and Festivity: Celebrating 97 Years of Macy’s Iconic Thanksgiving Parade

Floats%2C+Fun%2C+and+Festivity%3A+Celebrating+97+Years+of+Macy%E2%80%99s+Iconic+Thanksgiving+Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade marks an annual tradition that captivates millions across the United States. For nearly a century, this iconic event has painted the streets of New York City with vibrant colors, lively music, and gigantic floats, becoming a symbolic and integral party of Thanksgiving Day for families nationwide.

This tradition can be traced back to the 1920s when Macy’s employees organized the inaugural procession in 1924. Entirely different to what it is today, the parade was centered around the holiday season and the arrival of Christmas, featuring live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo, marching bands, and Macy’s employees dressed in whimsical costumes. However in 1927, the parade shifted to become the Thanksgiving Parade that it is renowned for today; nonetheless, you can still find a trace of the Christmas past to this parade through the tribute of Santa Claus at the end of the parade. Across the world, people show up to watch the parade live or tune into TV channels to watch from the comfort of their home. However, 1946 was the first time that the parade was televised nationally according to an article on CNN, where, before, people could only listen to the radio and had to imagine the festivities based on the descriptions that were read out. As the parade continues to gain popularity, what once was a local celebration has evolved into a national celebration for viewers across the world.

Central to the parade’s allure are the enormous floats that glide through the streets, towering above the crowds. These floats are marvels of creativity and engineering, standing several stories tall and featuring beloved characters from pop culture, whimsical fantasy lands, and elements celebrating diverse cultures. The meticulous design and construction of these floats involve months of planning and craftsmanship; skilled artisans and artists work tirelessly to bring these colossal structures to life, using a combination of wood, steel, foam, and vibrant fabrics. These creations are rigorously tested to ensure that they can maneuver through the parade route along the streets of New York City. Every year, new floats are introduced while some classics make their annual appearances. This year, the new floats featured Camp Snoopy, Good Burger Mobile, Igniting Memories, Mutant Mayhem, Palace of Sweets, and the Deliciously Delectable World of Wonka. However, the parade isn’t just about floats; it features talented marching bands, large helium balloons shaped like popular characters (the largest measuring more than 100 feet in height and length), and celebrity appearances. The parade ends with the arrival of Santa Claus atop his sleigh, whose grand appearance signifies the transition from the Thanksgiving holiday to the eagerly anticipated Christmas festivities.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade holds an unparalleled legacy as it celebrates its 97th consecutive year. Since its humble beginnings in 1924, this iconic extravaganza has evolved from a modest procession of Macy’s employees and live animals into a nationwide event that captures millions of viewers worldwide. Each year has seen new exciting floats, larger-than life balloons, and skilled band performances. Reaching this 97th milestone is a testament to the parade’s rich history and the countless memories it has gifted to families over the years, some crowding the New York City streets to catch a glimpse of the annual spectacle with others admiring it from their televisions.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Kailyn Cho, Staff Writer
Kailyn Cho ('25) is excited to be a Staff Writer for The Echo. She enjoys playing tennis, traveling around the world, and chasing sunsets.
Kavya Chettur, Senior Staff Writer
Kavya Chettur ('25) is excited to be a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo! She is interested in covering stories related to current events, student life, and science. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, playing lacrosse, and spending time with her friends and puppy, Benji. She looks forward to sharing her writing with an audience.