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!!
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.
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.
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.