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If you ask anyone a memorable part of Thanksgiving you will surely here people list off some of their favorite foods but it is also likely that you will here some talk about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This parade is the second oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in America and has been running since 1924 only ceasing in running during World War II because of the war’s need for rubber and helium. Every year people line up along the parade route and await the passing of the inflatables and entertainers. While the floats have changed over the years there have certainly been floats along the way that have become favorites and will remain near and dear to the hearts of the parade enthusiasts for years to come.
Felix the Cat – Felix the Cat is a special float because he was the first float to ever premier in the Macy’s Day Parade in 1927. Prior to the inaugural float appearance the parade goers were entertained by Macy’s employees and professional entertainers dressed up in new and exciting costumes and marched from 145th street in Harlem to the Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square. When Felix premiered in the parade he was a loved character across the country and those attending the parade were likely thrilled and amazed at the larger-than-life cat floating before them.
Astronaut Snoopy – In 1972 after floats had been used for decades we saw the premier of Astronaut Snoopy floating along the parade route. This Charles Schultz character was a loveable pup that children and adults alike read about in their comic strips since 1950. Charlie Brown’s best friend was made into an astronaut for this parade to pay tribute to Apollo 11. This was not Snoopy’s first appearance and it would not be his last, he appeared in 1968 as an aviator and would appear again 20 years after his premier in the parade in 1988 alongside his avian pal, Woodstock.
Sonic the Hedgehog – This character is particularly relevant right now because as the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us you can expect to find him making his way along the parade route this year. This will be a second appearance for the blue hedgehog as he first appeared in the parade in 1993. Sonic was the first video game character to ever make an appearance in the parade but he would not be the last. There have been other characters in the parade who first found fame in television or card games and were then transformed into video game characters.
The route of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has changed over the years as have the featured characters but people continue to watch the parade from their televisions or from the streets lining the current route between 77th and Central Park West and Herald Square. They are given the opportunity to see the floats, performers, and other entertainers along with Santa who steps out for the first time of the year at the parade.