In the 1920’s there was a tradition started by Macy’s department store employees, they were first-generation immigrants. They started a new tradition with their new found American heritage; they wanted to celebrate this holiday like their ancestors in Europe. This event is characterized by three main events within the parade: 1) Ritual of Balloons 2) Ritual of Floats and 3) Ritual of Performances.
Ritual of Balloons
In 1927 the first balloons were introduced to the parade, which took over for live animals. In the parade there are three varieties. The first and the oldest class is novelty, which are smaller balloons that the entertainers carry around with them. Second, which is the most famous, is the full-size balloons. The third is “Blue Sky Gallery” where contemporary art is transformed into full size balloons. Most of the balloons have represented children’s heroes and cartoons. The biggest balloon ever put in the parade was Kermit the Frog, coming in at a whopping 78 feet long.
Ritual of Floats
There are two main types of floats. First is the decorative, and more elegant. They are even some times made from balloons. These types of floats usually represent a national figure or landmark, like the Statue of Liberty. The second types of floats are usually stages for performances. They usually have singers, actors, or mascots on these floats.
Ritual of Performances
There are many different types of performances that have happened during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The first and most common are singers singing. The second are usually show-type performances, where there are people acting out an event, that ranges from dancing to ice-skating.
The last thing that should be well known about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the amount of people that attend, and watch the parade. The first parade had an audience of over a quarter of a million people. In 1933 there were crowds of more... [continues]
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