Macy's Inc.
  • Macy's employees are shown dressed as clowns in 1924. Even today, Macy's employees continue to don clown costumes, handle the lines on the giant balloons, and fulfill other roles that help keep the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade marching down the streets of New York City.
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  • The 1924 Balloonatics float inspired famed puppeteer and Macy's window designer Tony Sarg to create inflatable upside down marionettes, otherwise known as Macy's giant helium balloons.
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  • Felix the Cat was the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade's first ever giant balloon, introduced in 1927.
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  • The first Macy's parade in 1924 featured live animals borrowed from the zoo.
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  • The star of the first and every Macy's parade, Santa Claus, is seen here on his first float in 1924. This year, the Macy's parade will debut a new Santa's Sleigh float, the first new Santa float in more than 40 years.
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  • Designed by Macy's in conjunction with Walt Disney himself, Mickey Mouse was one of the earliest balloons. This year, a fourth Mickey balloon will debut this time as a Sailor riding an anchor down the route.
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  • The Uncle Sam balloon, seen here in the early 1940's, precluded the suspension of the Macy's parade from 1942-1944 due to WW II.
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  • One of the earliest balloon in the 1930's depicted an inflatable band leader.
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  • Iconic characters from comic books, films and television have been a staple of the Macy's giant balloon line-up. One of the most popular was the Superman balloon.
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  • The Macy's parade has always boasted the most popular stars of film, television, music and sports who each year ride on top of the parade's moving stages and perform for spectators. Pictured here are Hollywood royalty Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans.
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  • First introduced in the early 1950's, Harold the Fireman has become a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade staple, and over the years, "Harold" has taken new roles including a Police Officer and Baseball Player.
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  • Betty Boop was one of the most beloved balloons from the late 1980's.
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  • "Sesame Street" cast and the Muppets have ridden in the parade for more than 30 years.
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  • Snoopy has become the Macy's parade's star character balloon. The 2009 parade will mark Snoopy's 34th appearance. Seen here is the late 90's version of the classic character.
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  • In 2004, Macy's created the Blue Sky Gallery series that aimed to introduce inflatable art to the parade's balloon lineup. Pictured here is the 2007 entry, Rabbit, by Jeff Koons.
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  • SpongeBob SquarePants is the Thanksgiving Day parade's first-ever square-shaped balloon. It takes more than 600 internal tie-lines to give SpongeBob his distinctive look.
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  • Hello Kitty is the Parade's largest balloon by helium volume, inflated with 16,200 cubic feet of helium.
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  • A green ogre takes Manhattan as Shrek flies over Times Square.
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  • Kermit, one of the most beloved characters in the parade's history, has a great view flying over Central Park West in Manhattan.
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  • The Smurf balloon debuted in the 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and will be making a very Smurfy return appearance this year.
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  • A sneak preview of the brand-new Spider-Man balloon will debut amid a lineup of colorful characters this year. This is the second Spider-Man balloon in the parade. He first flew in the late 1980's and '90's, taking his last flight in 1998.
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