Tiffany Buschman 

Features Editor 

This Thanksgiving, as families turn on their televisions they will see crowds gathered on the streets of New York City, viewing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. This staple of the holiday returns after being pre-recorded to the crowd-less streets of NYC last year due to the pandemic.  Macy’s website shares the history behind their iconic Thanksgiving Day parade.  

According to Macys.com, “In 1924, a group of Macy’s employees asks the company to put on a parade. Their request was to celebrate their newfound freedoms and the coming of Christmas. Many in the group are first-generation immigrants wanting to show pride in the new place their families call home. 

The first parade is a two-block long procession and it’s the roaring ’20s so there are no rules. Elephants, camels and donkeys marched in jagged rows. Macy’s employees dressed like gypsies and giants walk down the streets and jazz bands blow sounds of brass into the crowd. Santa’s float makes its way from 145th Street to Macy’s at 34th Street. The parade was a media sensation, lauded by the Newark Ledger and the New York Herald Tribune.” 

Just a few years shy of a century later, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is still an overwhelming success. This year, in-person and at home viewers alike can enjoy classic floats and balloons as well as a slew of new balloons, floats, and performers. Macy’s website shares the details of a few of the new balloons making their debut down 34th street this year.  

According to Macy’s website, “Making his debut this year by soaring through the New York City skies is a fan favorite Grogu from the beloved ‘Star Wars’ series ‘The Mandalorian.’ This larger than life balloon is inspired by ‘The Child’ ‘Funko Pop’ releasing this fall. The star of Macy’s holiday campaign ‘TipToe’ is making her inaugural parade appearance as a balloon puppet this Thanksgiving. With the help of her puppeteers, her head bobs and legs move as this courageous reindeer prances through the streets of NYC encouraging spectators to believe in themselves. This TipToe balloon is the first ever balloon puppet featured in the parade.” 

In addition to new balloons, this year classic balloons are being debuted with a new look. Macy’s website shares the details on one of these revamped balloons.  

According to macys.com, “The world’s most famous clown Ronald McDonald, returns to the big apple with a new look. This is his fifth design since he first joined the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1987. In this version, Ronald is sharing his heart with us at a time when we all need some extra love and smiles. He inspires spectators to see a smile and share a smile.” 

This year’s parade is also debuting several new parade floats. Macy’s website shares the details of these new floats donning the streets of NYC.  

According to macys.com, “This year Disney Cruise Line makes its maiden voyage with Captain Minnie Mouse at the helm of a Disney Wish inspired float. This float which is modeled after their newest ship which will set sail next summer, features classic filigree on the bow. Plus, Mickey shaped porthole mirrors allow spectators to see themselves on a Disney cruise. Another new float is the Celebration Gator presented by the Louisiana Office of Tourism. This float adorned in colorful azaleas magnolias and Mardi Gras beads, is a tribute to Louisiana’s rich culture. This gargantuan gator is the longest parade float ever. It measures 60 feet from mouth to tail.” 

The 2021 Thanksgiving Day parade features a variety of performers. Macy’s website shares details of this year’s entertainment line up.  

According to Macy’s website, “This year’s entertainment line up features multiplatinum country singer Chris Lane. Chris Lane’s star is on the rise with three number one hits including Big, Big Plans I Don’t Know About You and Fix. He has more than 1.4 billion streams to his credit. Chris Lane will be appearing on the Mt. Rushmore’s American Pride float presented by the South Dakota Department of Tourism.” 

A Christian artist is also being featured this year in the parade’s entertainment roster. Macy’s shares some details on this artists’ parade debut on their website.  

According to macys.com, “Making his Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade debut is Christian singer/songwriter Tauren Wells. Known for faith-based pop tracks like the platinum selling hit ‘Hills and Valleys’ and gold-certified ‘Known’, Tauren Wells has established himself as an exciting musical talent, with six number one hits seven GMA Dove awards and multiple Grammy nominations. Tauren Wells will be appearing on the Home Sweet Home float presented by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.” 

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