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10 amazing balloons from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

10 Pictures of balloons from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Since its modest debut in 1924 — with only about a dozen elements — to the grand spectacle we know today, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City has become synonymous with Thanksgiving, and marks an unofficial start to the holiday season.

Each year, more than 3.5 million people gather along the 2-1/2 mile route to cheer floats, celebrities, giant helium balloons and some of America’s best marching bands. The festivities are carried live on national television, attracting approximately 50 million viewers.

In 1927, puppeteer Tony Sarg created the first giant balloons for the Macy’s parade. (The event was later featured in films such as 1947’s A Miracle on 34th Street.) Says Macy’s, “The Parade’s signature giant character balloons are one of the procession’s most famous elements, each year drawing millions of cheers from spectators young and old.”

Here’s a look at some of the best balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from the past decade!

Wizard of Oz balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013

To mark the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of OZ, a 47-foot tall, giant hot air balloon emblazoned with the portraits of the characters from the classic film, glided down the route carrying the Wizard of Oz himself. Along for the ride below were Dorothy and special balloonhead characters of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wizard of Oz balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013 - by gigi_nyc

 

Mickey Mouse at the 2009 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Perennial favorite Mickey Mouse has been floating above the Manhattan spectators since 1934.

Mickey Mouse at the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, by Musicwala

 

Kermit the Frog Muppet balloon at the 2009 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Kermit the Frog Muppet balloon at the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, by Musicwala

 

Spiderman balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013

Spiderman balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013 - by gigi_nyc

 

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons 2013

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013 - by gigi_nyc (3)

 

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013 - by gigi_nyc (4)

 

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013 - by gigi_nyc (7)

 

Snoopy – Flying Ace – at the 2009 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Snoopy Flying Ace at the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, by Musicwala

 

Sonic the Hedgehog at The 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Sonic - The 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013 by Anthony Quintano

 

The 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013

Snoopy - The 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013 by Anthony Quintano

 

Photographs courtesy of: gigi_nyc, Craig, Musicwala, Albert “Beep” Trefts III, Anthony Quintano (Creative Commons)

Sources: Macy’s, US Libaray of Congress, US Embassy, The City of New York

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