83rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means the turkey population is sadly on a temporary decline, as friends and family get together and give thanks all the while feasting on elaborate and scrumptious meals. Then there’s the Sunday football, that draws sports-crazed men into their lazy-boys for hours, much to the dismay of hard-working (and let’s face it) female cooks in the family.

And then there’s the annual event that some perhaps mark as the highlight of Thanksgiving, and that is the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As the name implies, this event is presented/sponsored by Macy’s department store. This parade is a three-hour event held in New York City and starts bright and early in the morning at 9 a.m. (EST) on Thanksgiving Day (November 26.)  This year marks the 83rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and for the first time since its beginning the parade route is changed up a bit. Normally, the main route of the parade went along Broadway. This year however, it will be marching down 7th Avenue and ending at Macy’s Herald Square on the corner of 34th and 7th Avenue.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a smashing success from day one in 1924 and has been consecutively en route with a minor intermission during World War II. Back in the earlier years, the parade featured floats, clowns, bands and live animals from Central Park Zoo and was actually called the Macy’s Christmas Parade. These live animals were later (1927) swapped for innate objects, the now world-famous over-sized balloons that float through the air. The first balloon ever to appear in the parade was Felix the Cat that was filled with air – today helium is used to keep the larger-than-life balloons afloat.

Don’t miss this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and be sure to get there early. In order to secure a good viewing point, it is suggested to head out in the crack of dawn between 6 and 7 a.m. The best location to view the parade is said to be at Central Park West between 61st and 72nd Streets. Remember that it can get quite cold, so wear layered clothing. Also, strap on a pair of comfortable shoes if you’re planning to watch the spectacle from beginning to end which can last up to 3 hours.

It’s one thing to watch the finished spectacle as the balloons are floating by during the parade. However, almost equally exciting (if not more) is to watch the preparation of the parade’s balloons the night before. There is public viewing available for those eager to see the bombastic balloons being blown up between 3 and 10 pm on November 25 on 77th and 81st Streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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