Every year, we are lucky enough to see the Macy’s parade from my dad’s apartment. It is a complete and utter luxury that we try not to take for granted. A slice of Americana that is so festive and unique. Our favorite part by far is watching the marching bands. Top bands from all over the country are invited to represent their state. This year they came from High Schools and Colleges from Tennessee, Ohio, Florida, Texas. The NYPD marching band is always there, and this year the US Air Force band marched. Listening and watching these bands always gives us goose bumps.
A little back history on how the parade got started: In 1924, Macy’s was already a leading department store in Manhattan. As a way for its immigrant workers to celebrate their new American culture, Macy’s organized their first parade. That first year there were no oversized balloons marching down the sidewalks. Instead, live animals were borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. For various reasons, including the safety issues of parading live animals, the parade began to feature balloons in 1927. Goodyear Rubber and Tire made the balloons, the first of which was Felix the Cat. Balloons are inflated the night before the parade outside of the Museum of Natural History, and the public is invited to watch (another fun parade event).
If you aren’t one of the lucky few who has a friend or relative living along the parade route, Time Out New York has some great tips on the best spots to view the parade.
Oh, and another of our favorite parts…the cheers that errupt for the pooper-scooper men who follow behind the horses!
Let the holidays begin.