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Popeye-Thanksgiving Day Parade-NYC Times Suare1961 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with Popeye

If you were at the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924 (then called the “Macy’s Christmas Parade”), you would have witnessed the first iteration of what became a country-wide phenomenon. The parade, with its huge balloons, ended at the Macy’s department store, where Macy’s holiday window displays were revealed to an awed crowd. Since then, the tradition of the parade has evolved and become a staple of commercialism for the city and the country. Here we look back at ten photographs of the parade over the years.

1. The First Balloons of Puppeteer Anthony Sarg, 1928

Anthony Sarg was the puppeteer who brought balloons to the Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time. In 1928, he was asked to create balloons for the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving. The balloons were made to rubberized silk and filled with helium. The largest was 125 feet tall.

balloon-elephant-thanksgiving-nyc-untappedImage via Print Magazine

Tony-Sarg-And-Bil-Baird-Paint-Terrible-Turk-balloon-1930Image via Print Magazine

thanksgiving-parade-balloon-nyc-untappedImage via Print Magazine

balloon-parade-nyc-untappedImage via Print Magazine

2. The 1927 Felix the Cat Balloon

felix-the-cat-thanksgiving-nyc-untappedImage via WordPress: History Depot

3. The balloon ascent at the end of the 1930 Parade

macys-thanksgiving-balloon-nyc-untappedImage via Smithsonian

4. Mickey Mouse Balloon, 1934

Mickey Mouse 1934-Thanksgiving Day Parade Debut-NYCImage via Disney Parks

5. Pinocchio, 1937

macy-thanksgiving-day-parade-1937-pinocchio-NYCPhoto via Daily News

6. Tin Man, Wizard of Oz around 1939

Tin Man Balloon in Macy's ParadePhoto via 42ndBlackwatch1881

7. Popeye, 1959

Popeye Balloon in Thanksgiving Day ParadePhoto via 42ndBlackwatch1881

8. Bullwinkle, 1962

Bullwinkle Float During Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadePhoto via 42ndBlackwatch1881

9. First Snoopy Balloon, 1968

First Snoopy Aviation Flying Ace-Macy's Thanksgiving Parade-NYC

Snoopy first appeared in 1968 as the World War I Flying Ace (sans the red dog house). He’s had many iterations since the launch, as an astronaut, ice skater, with Woodstock in 1988 for the first time and as a jester. Since 2006, he’s had an updated flying ace outfit

10. Uncle Sam, around 1940

Uncle Sam Macy's Thanksgiving Parade-NYC

A lot more cartoon characters have joined the fold these days, including Pikachu, Hello Kitty, and Sponge Bob Square Pants. The 2014 parade will take place on Thursday, November 27th. The parade will begin at 77th Street and Central Park West and proceed south to Macy’s in Herald Square. You can catch a glimpse of the balloon blowing the day before starting at 3pm at 79th Street and Columbus Avenue.

Next, read about the Top 10 Secrets of Macy’s in Herald Square and 10 notable balloon mishaps that have happened in the history of the Macy’s parade.

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