The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

The best way to celebrate Thanksgiving… besides sleeping!


A picture of a balloon in The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

David Larsen, Contributor

It’s finally the joyous holiday season at last, which means it’s time for presents, love, and of course, Thanksgiving! There are many ways to celebrate the holiday, like eating a giant feast, telling what you’re thankful for or even just sleeping, but there’s no way to celebrate it without watching Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Parade. Therefore, what is it, when is it, and where can you watch it? In this article, get ready to learn about all of that and more!


When did it start?

The famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade started in 1924 to persuade people to come to their store, and it worked! In the successful end, more than 250,000 people attended the inaugural Macy’s Day Parade, and it was wisely decided that this parade would become an annual event in Manhattan.


When is it?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will be held on November 22, 2018, at 9:00 AM and will typically go until about 10:30 AM of that same day, so be sure not to miss it.


What Channel is it on?

NBC will be showcasing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live on TV and will also be on the NBC Live app and website and the CBS All Access app, allowing people the chance to watch the full parade on your TV, tablet, phone, or computer.


What Balloons and Floats will there be?

During the parade, there’s always an enormous variety of balloons, floats, performers, marching bands, and everybody’s favorite, clowns! This year, the lineup of  balloons at the parade will include Charlie Brown, Flying Fish, Greg Heffley, The Grinch, Olaf, Pikachu, Pillsbury Doughboy, and more! The lineup of floats will include Chocolate Fantasy Factory, Big Red Shoe Car, Big City Cheer, 1-2-3 Sesame Street, Tom Turkey, and Splashin’ Safari Adventure. To see a more comprehensive list of the balloons, floats, and the clowns, go to:


Five Fun Facts

  1. In 1927, Felix the Cat became the first giant balloon to take part in the parade. Later in 1928, the balloon was inflated with helium, and without a plan to deflate this massive balloon, parade organizers simply let Felix fly off into the sky. However, he popped soon after.
  2. The Balloonatics float, a float that was decorated with balloons, inspired the excellent idea to add character balloons to the parade. These days, the talented people who design the balloons are appropriately called “Balloonatics.” and cost roughly $100,000 to make.
  3. During World War II, there was a major rubber and helium shortage, so Macy’s decided to cancel the parade from 1942 to 1944. Eventually, in 1945, the parade returned and even got a new route in 1946 half the length of the previous route.
  4. It typically takes an hour and 30 minutes to properly inflate the balloons, which contains about 12,000 cubic feet of helium, and is capable of lifting nearly 750 pounds (or filling 2,500 bathtubs).
  5. Each balloon in the parade flies at a height accurately determined by its size and weather conditions, and the wind poses such a potential threat that if the wind speeds or gusts are too strong, the balloons won’t fly.


So be sure to turn on the parade this Thanksgiving as they walk down the streets of New York. Also, make sure to have an awesome Thanksgiving with your family and enjoy the week off. And as always, be sure to take a look at the other amazing articles on Rider Review. We’ll see you next time.


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