Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade guest post by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Macy Day Parade has become a tradition on Thanksgiving Day. My earliest memories of Thanksgiving were watching the parade and waiting for Santa to appear. Every child in my school knew that the real Santa was the one who appeared in the parade. But did you know that when the Macy Day Parade first started in 1924, it took place on Christmas Day? Store workers dressed as clowns, cowboys, and other characters and walked the entire six miles hike from Herald Square to Harlem. Professional bands and the Central Park Zoo along with their animals joined them in the parade. Santa rode into Herald Square at the end as he has every year since.

The parade was meant to bring attention to the Macy’s Store in downtown New York City, and it worked. The first year, 250,000 people showed up. After that, it was an annual event in the city that continued to grow even during the Depression. The first radio broadcast of the parade was made in 1932, and the first TV broadcast was made as early as 1938.

Balloons have been a part of the parade, almost since the beginning. In 1927, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company from Akron premiered their first parade balloon, Felix the Cat, but he wasn’t filled with helium until the next year. In the early years, people didn’t bother to deflate the balloons. They would release them into the air with an address attached. Rarely were the balloons returned. Mickey Mouse made his debut in the 1934 parade, and Bullwinkle first appeared in 1961. Today over a dozen large balloons are in the parade.

Floats were in the first parade and also had a large part over the years. Floats were still drawn by horses until 1939. Snoopy holds the record for the most floats. More than thirty parade floats are now featured in the parade.

The Macy’s Day Parade, although very popular in New York City, gained popularity throughout the nation
after the movie, Miracle on 34th Street, was released in 1946. In Miracle on 34th street, the real Santa Claus steps in to replace a drunk Santa and decides to be Macy’s Store Santa to help fight commercialism.
But the Macy’s Day Parade didn’t always have smooth sailing. In 1942 through 1944, the parade was cancelled because rubber and helium were needed for the war effort. After the assassination of President Kennedy, the parade went on as scheduled to boost the morale of the nation. In 1971, heavy rains forced the parade to ground all balloons.

Today, over 8,000 people participate in the Macy’s Day Parade and over 3.5 million are expected to attend. It has become, not just a New York City Thanksgiving tradition, but a tradition for all of the United States of America.



A Christmas Promise:
A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773
During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day.
When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.
Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.  Available at these online stores:
AMAZON
PELICAN BOOK GROUP
CHRISTIANBOOK

TAMERA LYNN KRAFT has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio.
Tamera is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She has curriculum published and is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
You can contact Tamera online at these sites.

Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com
Revival Fire For Kids Blog: http://revivalfire4kids.com
Adventures in American History: http://tameralynnkraft.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TameraLynnKraft
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tamerakraft

10 comments:

  1. Have watched the Macys Day parade since I was a child and have continued when my adult children were small and now grandchildren. What a big part of the holiday season. mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. It is such an important part of Thanksgiving, Jackie.

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  2. I remember watching it every Thanksgiving when I was a kid. I have to admit that I haven't seen it now in probably 15 years. We never have the tv on anymore that day. :) Too many games and fun family times happening!

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    1. It was fun to watch when I was a kid, Susan.

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  3. Thank you, Tamera, for sharing the interesting history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I had no idea that it had such early beginnings! It is certainly a household tradition.

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    1. Thanks, Britney. I was amazed at some of its history too.

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  5. When I was young, my grandfather worked as a superintendent in a building along Central Park West, and the parade route went directly by his building. One magical year when I was six we were able to visit and see the parade live. It was unforgettable. I can still see the original Hobbit float and the Underdog balloon that dazzled my young mind. My older brother lifted me up on his shoulders to see over the crowd. Priceless memory.

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  6. Macy'sThanksgiving Day Parade is always something to look forward to...it is just a given on Thanksgiving Day.

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  7. It sounds like such a wonderful tradition
    God bless you
    Chris
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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