Helium craziness and Autumn magic.
It may seem that a typical American would spend his Thanksgiving mantled in the coziness of his household, with a happy chain of the loved ones on his side. That doesn’t apply for 3,5 million of them, gathering every year in the middle of the New York City, to witness the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, a treat for the eye and the heart!
The ‘giving’ tradition literally applies well when the Parade is concerned. It started in the 1920s, as a ‘thank you’ from Macy’s numerous employers, among many of whom were first-generation immigrants. They brought the tradition from Europe and wanted to celebrate their new American identity that way.
The first parades featured live animals, which, for cautionary reasons, were replaced by helium balloons in 1927. Each and every one of them had a little note with an address attached to it, so, whatever lucky guy found it later on, could mail it back and receive a gift from Macy’s. Thanks to various collaborations, including Disney and Paramount Pictures, these true works of art leave a lasting impression every year, beginning 1927, when Felix the Cat started this literal walk of fame.
Between 1942 and 1945, the balloons were recycled into 650 pounds of rubber and donated to the America’s war help. What’s interesting, the parade didn’t get suspended even after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and served as a solace for the suffering nation.
In the late 1980s, the parades began adding characters from contemporary pop culture and video games, making them looking more and more insane every year. One of the nicest gestures concerning them was made by the one and only Tim Burton, when in 2010 he decided to design a balloon out of leftover ones, used in children’s parties at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
The collective effort of 10,000 men make this magic happen every year, attracting millions to the Big Apple and over 50 million viewers, who join the festivity in front of their televisions. Its madness got widely recognized in the United States, as ten telecasts won an Emmy Award for its coverage since the 1970s.
Let’s not forget that each year’s parade is closed by the Santa Claus, which symbolizes the beginning of the Christmas celebrations.
They truly know how to start it with a bang!
the source of the photos: http://content.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2100160_2324119,00.html