Vintage Photos Of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades Past

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a time-honored tradition dating back to 1924.In 2020, the parade will still march on, but with some modifications. Organizers have announced that there will be a shorter route, fewer participants (and mostly from the New York area), a combination of live and prerecorded elements and other measures in keeping with social distancing guidelines. “Under the unique challenges of these unparalleled times, we felt it was important to continue this cherished holiday tradition that has been the opening act to the holiday season for generations of families,” Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, said in a statement. Although the parade may look a bit different, many classic elements will remain. In honor of Thanksgiving week, we’ve rounded up 45 vintage photos of the parade from years past. Keep scrolling for some epic throwback balloons, performers, presenters and more. 1924Courtesy of Macy’sElephants in the first Macy’s Parade, then called Macy’s Christmas Parade1924Courtesy of Macy’sFirst-ever Santa float in the then-Macy’s Christmas Parade1924Courtesy of Macy’sLittle Miss Muffet float1926Courtesy of Macy’sBalloonatics float, which inspired the creation of the character balloons1927Courtesy of Macy’sFelix the Cat, the first-ever giant character balloon at the Macy’s Parade1927Courtesy of Macy’sHappy Dragon, the second giant balloon in the Macy’s Parade1929Courtesy of Macy’sDaschund balloon released after the conclusion of the paradeLate 1920sUnderwood Archives via Getty ImagesThe 35-foot Fish Balloon and 60-foot Tiger Balloon as the parade neared its end on Broadway1931New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesThe 287-foot dragon balloon held by 29 men1933New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesGulliver The Gullible passing 98th Street and Broadway1934Courtesy of Macy’sEddie Cantor, the first balloon based on a real person1934New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesThe first Mickey Mouse balloon, designed with the help of Walt Disney1937New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesSea serpent balloon on Broadway and 56th St.1939Bettmann via Getty ImagesTin-Man from the \Wizard of Oz,\” viewed from the sixth story of a Times Square building1940sCourtesy of Macy’sUncle Sam balloon amid World War IIEarly 1940sWeegee(Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography via Getty ImagesBalloon handlers holding the ropes of a clown balloon in preparation for the parade1941New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesSanta Claus balloon buckling after losing helium around 106th St.1946Courtesy of Macy’sEdmund Gwenn as Santa Claus during the filming of the movie \Miracle on 34th Street\”1946Courtesy of Macy’sHarold the Baseball Player1947Courtesy of Macy’sMacy’s Elf balloon1949New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesA clown greeting kids along Central Park West1950sCourtesy of Macy’sBroadway Belle Showboat1954New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesGiant spaceman balloon at 34th St.1956New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesThe Mighty Mouse balloon deflating at Columbus Circle1957New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesA line of skaters rolling down Broadway1958New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesFilm star Ginger Rogers waving from the flower float1960sCourtesy of Macy’sPeanuts float1961Archive Photos via Getty ImagesA parade float advertising the Broadway musical \Let It Ride\”1964NBC via Getty ImagesThe traditional Rockettes performance1966Courtesy of Macy’sMacy’s employees dressed as clowns, a tradition that has persisted to the present day1966New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesWorkers filling Superman with helium for the parade1967NBC via Getty ImagesBetty White and Lorne Greene, who hosted the parade every year from 1963 to 19721968NBC via Getty Images\Star Trek\star William Shatner with soapbox derby members on a float1968Courtesy of Macy’sFlying Ace Snoopy, the first ever Snoopy Balloon 1970sCourtesy of Macy’sTom Turkey float, the oldest in the Parade1970Courtesy of Macy’sClown heads1974New York Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesSpectators viewing the parade1977Courtesy of Macy’sKermit the Frog float1978Courtesy of Macy’sThe first ever \Sesame Street\float1980sCourtesy of Macy’sStrawberry Shortcake float1981NBC via Getty ImagesToy Caterpillar float1983NBC via Getty ImagesOlive Oyl balloon1986Joe Sohm/Visions of America via Getty ImagesRonald McDonald balloon1995Mitchell Gerber via Getty ImagesRapper LL Cool J rides a float with a number of young men in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.1996Evy Mages/NY Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesA Betty Boop float