On Nov. 25, 2004, Chicken Little made his debut as a giant helium balloon. He was the star of an animated Disney version of the classic children's tale that debuted in theaters the following July.

News

Macy's Thanksgiving Parades of the past

See some of the attractions that have delighted spectators young and old over the decades.

/ 33 PHOTOS

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a holiday tradition since 1924. Here are some of the attractions that have delighted paradegoers over the decades.

Felix the Cat The first giant balloon ever made for the Macy's parade made its debut in 1927. Appropriately, the honor went to Felix the Cat, the first animated film star, who had been introduced in silent theatrical cartoons only eight years earlier.

  • Share

Captain Nemo

A large outdoor float of Captain Nemo makes its way down the street during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City on Nov. 28, 1929. Early balloons like this one were filled with air and carried by string. Starting in 1929 the balloons were released at the parade's end and rewards were offered for their return, but the practice was discontinued after 1932, when a pilot nearly crashed his plane trying to retrieve one.

 

  • Share

Mickey Mouse

The first Disney star to be a giant balloon in the Macy's parade was (of course) Mickey Mouse, in 1934. The mammoth mouse was more than 50 feet tall, built by the Goodyear Rubber Company. And look closely at the attendants guiding Mickey down the street: They're all dressed in Mickey and Minnie Mouse costumes!

 

  • Share

Teddy Bear

This was the scene in Times Square in New York during the parade on Nov. 23, 1945. It was the first parade since the festivities were suspended in 1941 due to World War II. Here, the Teddy Bear passes a reproduction of the Statue of Liberty.

 

  • Share

Macy's Elf

The Macy's Elf (note the Macy's star logo on his cap) has been a parade tradition since his first appearance here, in 1947. And he's not the only elf to appear in the parade: 2012 marked the debut of the Elf on the Shelf, from the best-selling children's book by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell.

 

  • Share

Superman

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's the first Macy's parade Superman balloon, which debuted in 1939, the year after the Man of Steel himself first appeared in Action Comics No. 1. That Superman soared for many years; this photo is from the 1950s. A second version was introduced in 1966, followed by a third in 1980.

 

  • Share

The Radio City Rockettes

Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes kicked up their heels on Nov. 27, 1958, when an estimated 1,250,000 people attended Macy's parade. The Rockettes continue to perform in the parade to this day.

 

  • Share

Popeye

This shot of the Macy's Parade from the early 1960s spotlights Popeye, still in his heyday. The spinach-chomping sailor man had made his parade debut a few years earlier, in 1957.

 

  • Share

Young spectators

Crowds of children gathered to watch the parade and even perched on phone booths on a chilly Thanksgiving Day in the early 1960s.

 

  • Share

Bullwinkle

Bullwinkle the moose floats above the Macy's parade in the early 1960s, when he costarred in TV cartoons with Rocky the Flying Squirrel.

 

  • Share

Garfield

The pizza-gobbling cartoon cat floats above a marching band on Broadway on Nov. 27, 1986. The Choctawhatchee High School band of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., march behind him.

 

  • Share

Betty Boop

The Empire State Building can be seen in the background as handlers pull the Betty Boop balloon past Macy's department store (left) in the early 1990s.

 

  • Share

Rex the Tyrannosaurus

The Nov. 25, 1993 Macy's Parade was plagued by freezing temperatures and blustery winds that burst several of the balloons. One casualty was Rex, the tyrannosaurus hero of the children's book "We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story."

 

  • Share

Millennium Snoopy

The Nov. 25, 1999 parade brought the debut of Millennium Snoopy, the fifth version of Charlie Brown's beagle to star in the festivities. In front of Snoopy is Cloe the Clown, a historic Macy's float regarded as the patron spirit of clowns.

 

  • Share

Mayor Giuliani

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani waves from his float during the 75th Macy's parade on Nov. 22, 2001, symbolizing the city's resilience in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 only a couple of months earlier.

 

  • Share

Ronald McDonald

The Ronald McDonald balloon makes its way through Times Square during the 76th Macy's parade on Nov. 28, 2002. The fast-food icon was one of 13 giant character balloons in the parade that year.

 

  • Share

Uncle Sam

The Uncle Sam balloon leads off the parade on Nov. 28, 2002. The balloon is a re-creation of a patriotic one that first appeared in 1938 and continued through the 1940s.

 

  • Share

Cheers!

Cheerleaders are a much a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition as giant balloons. This group was alive and kicking in front of Macy's flagship store during the 2002 parade.

 

  • Share

Chicken Little

On Nov. 25, 2004, Chicken Little made his debut as a giant helium balloon. He was the star of an animated Disney version of the classic children's tale that debuted in theaters the following July.

 

  • Share

Pikachu

The iconic character from the Pokemon franchise of video games and cartoons precedes a toy soldier, Mr. Potato Head and Garfield down Broadway on Nov. 24, 2005.

 

  • Share

Scooby Doo

Scooby Doo, where are you? The cowardly Great Dane hides safely behind a marching band on Nov. 22, 2007.

 

  • Share

Flying Ace Snoopy

Scooby Doo, where are you? The cowardly Great Dane hides safely behind a marching band on Nov. 22, 2007.

 

  • Share

Tom Turkey

What's a Thanksgiving without turkey? Tom Turkey, to be precise, has been a staple of the Macy's Parade since 1971, including this appearance on Nov. 26, 2009.

 

  • Share

Shrek

Big and scary though he may be, Shrek doesn't seem to be intimidating too many paradegoers on Nov. 25, 2010. The green guy first joined the parade in 2007.

 

  • Share

Oohs and aahs

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade continued to delight spectators on Nov. 25, 2010, just as it has every year since it started in 1924.

 

  • Share

Sea of pom-poms

Cheerleaders wave in formation on Central Park South near the beginning of the Macy's Parade on Nov. 25, 2010.

 

  • Share

Spider-Man

The web-spinning superhero debuted as a giant helium balloon in 1987, then returned in 2009 and, as shown here, the following year. In 2011, he will also be represented by the cast of the Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark."

 

  • Share

On the march

It wouldn't be a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade without marching bands from across the country and around the world. Here the "Pedro Molina" band from Guatemala performs on Nov. 25, 2010.

 

  • Share

Hello Kitty!

The Hello Kitty balloon floats down Central Park West during the 87th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York November 28, 2013

 

  • Share

It's time... Adventure Time

Adventure Time balloon during the 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, 2014 in New York City.

 

  • Share
Angry Birds Movie Red In Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Angry birds

The Angry Birds float flies through the air during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 26, 2015.

Getty Images
  • Share
90th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Trixie the Bouncing Dog rides in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2016. Amy Kule (Executive Producer of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade's) actual dog Trixie was the inspiration for the float that flew for the first time in the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

FilmMagic
  • Share
Trolls

The title characters of Dreamworks' new animated film "Trolls" made their first-ever appearance in the Thanksgiving parade on Nov. 24, 2016. 

Greg Allen/Invision/AP
  • Share
1/33