Now Reading: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons: A Quick Glimpse at the Last 91 Years of Joy


Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons: A Quick Glimpse at the Last 91 Years of Joy

November 22, 20184 min read

Thanksgiving is a special day for Americans. We not only remember the alliance made in 1621 between the Wampanoag tribe and Plymouth settlers but also take the time to cherish our loved ones and make new memories. A large part of those memories, for many people, is the renowned Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Since 1924, the annual parade has been filling the streets of NYC with music, excitement and holiday cheer! It would difficult to find a home that wasn’t playing this spectacular show on their television.

But what is it that makes the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade so special? I’ll give you a hint: they’re big, colorful and make little children scream. If you guessed rainbows, I’m sorry to say you’re wrong. The balloons of course! No parade does balloons bigger and better than Macy’s. So, without further ado, here is a look back to just a few of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s grandest and most groundbreaking balloons!

Felix the Cat (1927)

It’s like they say, you never forget your first. Felix the Cat was the very first giant balloon to ever hit the streets, during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And he had some pretty big shoes to fill, considering he replaced the parade’s live animals!  He was designed by Anthony Frederick Sarg and manufactured by Goodyear. In 2016, Felix made his epic return to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, after 90 years! What can we say – the cat’s still got it!

Snoopy (1968)

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Snoopy! That’s right, in 1968, our favorite sass master made his first Thanksgiving Day Parade appearance. Over the years, this pup has worn many different hats. First as an aviator, then an astronaut and then even an ice skater. Whatever the case, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Snoopy.

Ronald McDonald (1987)

This kind clown has been putting a smile on parade goers faces for decades now. Initially, Ronald McDonald came floating down street upside down and holding balloons, but came back in 2000, in a more traditional way. In 2001, His arm deflated after colliding with a tree, but he wouldn’t let that stop him! We still get to see his friendly face each year.

Charlie Brown (2002)

Poor Charlie Brown! He will forever be struggling with something and living in his dog’s shadow. Even in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But time to give credit where credit is due! Charlie Brown has been an icon for children and adults alike and deserves some props. In fact, in 2008, his balloon made an appearance in the Coca-Cola commercial and is victorious over the Underdog balloon and Stewie Griffin balloon. You go, Charlie Brown!

Olaf (2017)

Do wanna build a snowman (balloon)? Yes, please! The world’s favorite little sidekick made is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade debut just last year!  And, he was given the great honor of leading the parade, WITH the new blue Macy’s stars. Olaf, you’re swell, and I’m sending you all the warm hugs.


Happy Thanksgiving and fly on!

Featured Image via History Detectives – New-York Historical Society

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Francesca Creavey

Francesca Creavey is an aspiring singer and writer from Scranton, Pennsylvania. IG: francescacreavey