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(Source:   NYC Visit: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade)

THE THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE

By Jack Prelutsky

Thanksgiving Day is here today,
the great parade is under way,
and though it's drizzling quite a bit,
I'm sure that I'll see all of it.

Great balloons are floating by,
cartoon creatures stories high,
Mickey Mouse and Mother Goose,
Snoopy and a mammoth moose.

Humpty Dumpty, Smokey Bear
hover in the autumn air,
through the windy skies they sway,
I hope that they don't blow away.
Here comes Santa, shaking hands
as he waddles by the stands.
It's so much fun, I don't complain
when now it really starts to rain.

The bands are marching, here they come,
pipers pipe and drummers drum,
hear the tubas and the flutes,
see the clowns in silly suits.
It's pouring now, but not on me,
I'm just as dry as I can be,
I watch and watch, but don't get wet,
I'm watching on our TV set.

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Fun Facts about the Macy's Day Parade

Viewing the Parade

The parade starts at 77th Street and Central Park West, and ends at Macy's at 34th Street and Broadway. There is restricted access from 36th to 38th Street on Broadway and on 34th Street from Broadway to 7th Avenue on the north side of the street.

The first Parade in 1924 was called the "Macy's Christmas Day Parade" although it took place on Thanksgiving Day. Live animals including camels, goats, elephants, and donkeys were a part of the Parade that inaugural year. The floats were pulled by horses.

In the first Parade a white steed that was to aid in the Ben-Hur float disappeared at the last minute before the start of the Parade. In 1927, Macy's introduces the world famous giant helium balloons. The first balloons included Felix the Cat and Toy Soldier.

1928 saw the first release of the giant balloons into the air at the end of the line of march. The balloons promptly exploded after reaching a certain altitude. The balloons were redesigned and again released. Equipped with a return address label, Macy's offered a prize for their return.

Santa Claus has ended the Parade every year except 1933, the only year in which he led the Parade. The Parade was cancelled in 1942, 1943, and 1944 due to World War II. In the 1980s, the smaller "novelty" balloons were introduced, including the Macy's stars and the 30 foot triple-scoop ice cream cone.

"Falloons" were also introduced at this time. A combination of float and cold air balloon, this is a highlight of the creativity of the Macy's Parade Studio. In the past 75 years the Parade has attracted a sea of celebrities.

The years have seen Harpo Marx, Jackie Gleason, Diana Ross, Sammy Davis, Jr., Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow, NSYNCH, Shaina Twain, Christina Aguiera; among others. Macy's is the world's second largest consumer of helium. The United States Government is the first.

Over 50,000 clowns have delighted millions of children along the Parade route. There have been 163 balloons from 1927-2001.

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Links

NYC Tourist: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Big Balloon Inflation
History of the Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC
NYC Visit Macy's Parade
Macy's Historic Photo Gallery
Macy's Parade
Macy's Parade Balloon Fest