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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

RWC tutor Gabriela Santiago discusses the history of a Thanksgiving tradition.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual event that takes place on Thanksgiving morning in New York City. It showcases its famous giant balloons, floats, performers, bands, and special guests. The parade lasts for three hours, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST.

This annual event began in 1924, making it the second-oldest Thanksgiving Parade presented in the United States. The first parade was produced by Macy's employees who wanted to give back to the community. This tradition has been upheld, and many of the participants in the parade are Macy's colleagues, their families and friends, and invited performing talent.

After the success of the first parade, Macy's decided to continue it annually. As of 2022, there have been ninety-six parades. Since the start of this annual parade, only three have been cancelled: in 1942, 1943, and 1944 during World War II. They were cancelled due to the scarcity of materials, including helium and rubber, which were crucial to make the famous balloons.

This year audiences can expect twenty-two giant floating balloons that feature returning characters and new character balloons. Beagle Scout Snoopy from Peanuts Worldwide will be making his first appearance in this new version. Snoopy is the longest-running character balloon in the Parade having nine different versions. Blue Cat and Chugs from Cool Cats will be the first NFT character balloon to be featured in the parade. Another character balloon making their first appearance is Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece and Toei Animation Inc. The last known new balloon addition is Leo, a lizard from Netflix’s upcoming coming-of-age musical comedy film, LEO. Along with the balloons there will be six “balloonicles” which are Macy’s original creation. These are balloons that are maneuvered by the vehicles inside them. There will also be twenty-eight floats including the new addition of Brach’s Palace of Sweets, Solo Stove’s Igniting Memories, and Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Deliciously Delectable World of Wonka. The parade will feature twenty-nine clown crews as entertainment, including the Camper Clowns for the first time this year.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will take place on the morning of November 23rd, 2023. The parade will march along a 2.5-mile route in New York City, starting at Central Park West and ending at Macy's Herald Square Flagship. It will also be aired nationwide on NBC and Telemundo from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in all time zones. The parade can also be watched from the Peacock app.

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