3. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was originally a Christmas Parade

Santa Float at the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
1st Santa Float 1924. Photograph Courtesy of Macy’s, Inc.

In 1924, the first “Macy’s Christmas Parade” was held on Thanksgiving Day. It was organized by a handful of Macy’s employees dressed in costumes with entertainers, floats, and Santa Claus. The goal was to celebrate the expansion of Macy’s flagship Manhattan store, which called itself “The World’s Largest Store,” and to kick off the holiday shopping season.

This parade was so successful that Macy’s decided to hold one every year. The Christmas Parade finally became a “Thanksgiving Parade” in 1932. Today, with Black Friday following Thanksgiving Day, it still marks the start of the holiday shopping season, and Santa remains a star attraction.