Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541 - 2001
Thanksgiving Day, 1924

Employees, friends, and families of Macy's sponsored the store's first annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in 1924. The Gimbel Brothers Department Store in Philadelphia sponsored the first such parade in 1920 when fifteen cars, fifty people, and a fireman dressed as Santa Claus paraded through the streets (and concluded when Santa scaled a ladder into Gimbel's toy department). The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, however, became the standard that commemorated the official start of the Christmas shopping season.

In 1927, puppeteer Tony Sarg created the first giant balloons for the Macy's parade. The event was later featured in films such as A Miracle on 34th Street (1947). Each year, millions of people line New York City's streets during the parade while millions more tune into national television coverage.

View of the Corner of Macy's Department Store, with Busy Sidewalks and Streetcars
The Macy's Department Store in New York City.

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