LIFE

17 Incredible Vintage Balloons From The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

by Grace Eire
Grace plays in a band and is the mother to a black cat named Fitzhugh.

Waking up on Thanksgiving and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is such a lovely tradition for American families.

In 1924, the parade was moved from New Jersey to New York City by Macy’s. Every year after that initial march down to the Herald Square flagship store in midtown Manhattan, the parade has grown and grown into such a fun celebration that marks the beginning of each holiday season.

Folks dress up in colorful costumes, and marching bands play happy songs. But the part of the parade that is most anticipated is the balloons that float above the street.

Throughout the years there have been so many iconic characters to take balloon form, but the 17 below are some of the earliest and most memorable balloons.

Do you remember seeing any of these balloons float through the parade when they first appeared? What is your favorite character to look out for on Thanksgiving Day?

Please SHARE these nostalgic images with your family and friends on Facebook as you prepare for the holiday season!

1. Felix The Cat, 1927

1. Felix The Cat, 1927
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

Felix was the first balloon ever in the parade.

2. Happy Dragon, 1927

2. Happy Dragon, 1927
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

The second ballon to float through the parade was pretty adorable, don’t you think?

3. Mickey Mouse, 1934

3. Mickey Mouse, 1934
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

Walt Disney himself helped design the first Mickey balloon ever.

4. Eddie Cantor, 1934

4. Eddie Cantor, 1934
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

This was the first balloon ever to be modeled after a real person.

5. Happy Hippo, 1940s

5. Happy Hippo, 1940s
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

This sweet guy must have been a hoot to see floating through the air.

6. Uncle Sam, 1940s

6. Uncle Sam, 1940s
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

You have to show some patriotism when you hold a parade in the heart of New York City!

7. Santa, 1940

7. Santa, 1940
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

Santa helped get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

8. Pilgrim, 1946

8. Pilgrim, 1946
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

It is the Thanksgiving Day Parade, after all.

9. Macy's Elf, 1947

9. Macy's Elf, 1947
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

This happy guy surely brought tons of smiles to paradegoers.

10. Harold The Fireman, 1948

10. Harold The Fireman, 1948
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

Harold became a recurring character in the parade in many forms, but this was his first ever appearance.

11. Harold The Baseball Player, 1949

11. Harold The Baseball Player, 1949
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

Here he is again the next year as a baseball player.

12. Bullwinkle, 1961

12. Bullwinkle, 1961
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

Everyone’s favorite cartoon moose made an appearance.

13. Donald Duck, 1962

13. Donald Duck, 1962
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

Who doesn’t love Donald Duck?

14. Underdog, 1965

14. Underdog, 1965
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

Here comes the hero dog to save the day!

15. Superman, 1966

15. Superman, 1966
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

The Man of Steel himself even showed up!

16. Flying Ace Snoopy, 1968

16. Flying Ace Snoopy, 1968
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

This was the first of seven Snoopy balloons to grace the parade.

17. Kermit The Frog, 1977

17. Kermit The Frog, 1977
Courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

The most lovable Muppet as a giant floating balloon? What’s not to like?

Is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade part of your family’s holiday tradition? Please SHARE these lovely balloons with your family and friends on Facebook!