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Macy’s Balloons

The Macy’s “Christmas Parade” which eventually was renamed the “Thanksgiving Parade” has been held since 1924.  In 1927, Tony Sarg was an illustrator who was hired by Macy’s to “come up” with new ideas for the parade. Tony’s idea was BALLOONS!!

1927-dog

The Dog was one of the original balloons.

1929

1929

 

"Felix the Cat" was the first cartoon character to be a balloon.

“Felix the Cat” was the first cartoon character to be a balloon.

The first balloons did not fly because they were inflated with air not helium.  They were held up with poles.  In 1929, helium let the balloons fly.  It was a tradition to release them after the parade with Macy’s offering a $100 reward for their safe return.  The release was ended in 1932 when a balloon wrapped around the wing of an airplane causing it to crash.

One of the first commercial balloons, when MGM flew the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz joined the Macy's Christmas Parade in 1939. - See more at: http://luckypuppy.bravehost.com/GALLERY/picture.php?/3426/category/63#sthash.1OP50qII.dpuf

One of the first commercial balloons, when MGM flew the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz in the Macy’s Christmas Parade of 1939.

 

 Before they thought up the word "Astronaut" this "Space Man" blasted off in the Macy's Christmas Parade in 1952. - See more at: http://luckypuppy.bravehost.com/GALLERY/picture.php?/3427/category/63#sthash.bGK1nsSJ.dpuf


Before they thought up the word “Astronaut” this “Space Man” blasted off in the Macy’s Christmas Parade in 1952.

"Bullwinkle" joined the parade in 1960.  "Rocky" was probably right around the corner.

“Bullwinkle” joined the parade in 1960. “Rocky” was probably right around the corner.

 

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman! Choosing to walk the parade route instead of flying.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman! Choosing to walk the parade route instead of flying in 1966.

1968 Snoopy

Snoopy debuted in 1968.

Snoopy will mark 2013 as his 37th appearance in the parade, the most of any of the balloons in the history of the parade. Snoopy appeared in seven incarnations.

  • The Flying Ace  Snoopy in 1968.
  • The Astronaut  Snoopy in 1969.
  • Ice skating, solo in 1986.
  • Ice skating with Woodstock in 1988.
  • Millennium Snoopy in 1999.
  • New version of Flying Ace in 2006.
  • With Woodstock on his head for 2013.

SEE THEM ALL  HERE

Nobody has a monopoly on the event. Though NBC partners with Macy’s and has official broadcast rights, CBS fires up the cameras and broadcasts its bootleg The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS  because the parade passes by its studio space anyway and it has nothing better to do.

 


{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Lula Churchill November 30, 2013, 07:05

    I always wanted to see the parade in person. My mom and I never missed it growing up.

  • walt313 December 1, 2013, 06:41

    That is so cool. Did the pictures bring back some memories?

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