The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the many traditions I have missed while living in NYC just short of 11 years. My family decided to travel in this year for the holiday, so it just seemed wrong not to go and take a look. The weather on thursday was mild but it was nothing more was needed than a warm winter coat and accessories to go with. There are crowds and all sorts of barriers to get around but it is a once in a lifetime thing to see live.
The parade began last night with the blowing up of the enormous balloon characters in and around Central park. I attempted to get a look but the streets and sidewalks uptown were overflowing with traffic, so I just settled for a nice walk in the Park and a view from afar and stopped to get a pre-holiday cocktail with my mom on the way home.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade has a wonderful history. It began as a promotional event for Macy’s which featured first generation emigrant employees who wanted to celebrate this holiday and at the same time encourage people to come and do their Christmas shopping at Macy’s. The parade in 1924 was much longer then the present day. The procession of singers, dancers, musicians, and animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo made their way down from Harlem (145th St.) to the flagship store at Herald Square. In recent years, there has been a few mishaps and tragedy’s due to unpredictable winter weather trapping balloons in street light posts and pushing them into groups of spectators. Macy’s itself has faced some financial difficulties which has led them close to stopping the expensive event all together.
The holidays for 2010-11 have officially begun. Let the christmas caroling, holiday shopping and wrapping begin.