Around 3.5 million people attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York City every year. Fifty million more tune in to watch it from home.
Before it became the national spectacle it is today, the first parade in 1924 was a relatively modest assembly of Macy’s workers, elephants, monkeys, camels, Broadway performers, and small floats.
Take a look at archive photos of Macy’s first parade.
On Thanksgiving morning in 1924, Macy’s procession launched as the Christmas Parade.
Macy’s was not the first company to have a parade like this. In 1920, Philadelphia’s Gimbel Brothers Department Store staged a Thanksgiving parade with 50 people, 15 cars, and a fireman dressed as Santa Claus.
The performers marched 6 miles, starting from the intersection of 145th Street and Convent Avenue in Upper Manhattan.
Source: The New York Times
Approximately 250,000 people attended.
Source: The New Jersey Star-Ledger