8. The balloons used to be released into the air after the Parade

Photograph Courtesy of Macy’s, Inc.

Before 1933, since the city did not have set procedures for deflating parade balloons after the parade finished, parade workers simply released the balloons into the sky afterwards. They would then float up there for about a week, and anyone who was able to return them would often get a $100 reward. 

However, this fun practice halted in 1933, when a balloon in the air wrapped around the wing of a plane and caused it to go into a tailspin.