Thanksgiving: 8 fun facts about the Macy’s parade you probably didn’t know

It is now 97 years of history of the traditional Macy’s parade.

Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / Getty Images

After an extremely complicated year due to the issue of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced practically all of us to stay at home so that we and our families could be safe, we could not enjoy different traditional celebrations that we have in the last weeks of the year, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.

However, it seems that, little by little, we are returning to normality and today, thanks to vaccination and other actions, we will be able to enjoy many things that we had to deprive ourselves of last year, such as It’s the celebration of Thankisgiving Day.

One of the most traditional things about Thanksgiving, especially for New Yorkers, is the traditional Thanksgiving Day parade organized by the famous department chain Macy’s, which this year, again, people will be able to enjoy it live and in full color, taking to the streets to appreciate it, and also those who wish to, will be able to see it from home.

If you are a fan of the parade organized by Macy’s, here are some curious and interesting facts about this event in its 97-year history.

8 fun facts about the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade

1) Real animals instead of balloons

Currently, one of the The most colorful things in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade are the balloons, which can measure between 12 and 24 meters long. However, in the first parade in 1924 there were no balloons but real animals that were on loan from the Central Park Zoo for the occasion.

2) Balloons with reward

In the late 1920s, Macy’s began including balloons in its parade, which it used to release into the sky after the holiday, including a monetary reward for anyone who returned them or hinted at where they had landed.

3) The character chosen for the first balloon used in the Macy’s parade

The character chosen by the department store to show off in the air was “Felix the cat.”

4) A balloon from the Macy’s parade was about to cause a plane crash

It was in 1932 when a woman was doing a flight practice, next to her instructor, of an aircraft, over the Jamaica neighborhood, in Queens, when suddenly collided with a balloon of the famous Tom the cat character released that year during the Macy’s parade.

The plane began to lose altitude and the flight instructor took control of it, thus avoiding the catastrophe. This fact made Macy’s decide not to release its parade balloons.

5) The only time the parade was canceled

The only time this parade had to be canceled was in 1942. At that time Macy’s President Jack Straus made the decision official because World War II was being fought. In 1945, when the war ended, the tradition was resumed.

6) Helium shortage put the Thanksgiving parade at risk

It was in 1958 when there was a small crisis in the organization of the parade due to the shortage of helium gas, used to fill the spectacular balloons so that they can fly through the air. Eventually, the organizers found a way to hold and inflate them with the help of fresh air and cranes.

7) The balloons must have stayed on the ground

It was in 1971 when a strong storm and powerful wind gusts of about 40 km / h forced the balloons to remain on the ground. That year, NBC aired videos of the previous year’s parade.

8) A Macy’s parade balloon caused a woman to spend 24 days in a coma

The giant balloons have been the cause of incidents, some serious, such as the one that occurred in 1997 when a balloon of the famous character “The cat in the hat” hit a lamp post, causing it to fall, causing a woman to be seriously injured. of the incident.

The affected woman remained in a coma for 24 days and fortunately managed to recover. Upon leaving the hospital, he filed a lawsuit against Macy’s, against New York City itself and against one of the contractors, organizers of the event. Finally, they reached an agreement in 2001.

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