#1 Festival, Parade & Holiday Event
People have been lining the streets of New York to watch the parade since 1924, when it was known as the Macy’s Christmas Parade and used animals from the Central Park Zoo rather than the larger-than-life balloons seen today. The parade has become an American institution, with more than 3.5 million people watching the parade in person and another 50 million tune in at home. “While many elements of the production have remained the same over the past eight decades, our goal has been to protect the integrity of the march, while also incorporating new elements and extending the life of this event beyond Thanksgiving Day,” says Amy Kule, the parade’s executive producer. Innovations include the Blue Sky Gallery series, in which artists such as Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami, and Tim Burton have created balloons for the parade, and promotions outside of New York that include in-store events, scavenger hunts, and special tours of parade memorabilia. The parade’s website and mobile app offer behind-the-scenes content, animated videos, and an Elf-o-Matic feature that allows fans to turn themselves into a parade balloon. Even the task of inflating the giant balloons the night before the parade has become a tradition—drawing more than a million spectators. Next: November 27, 2014
Photo: Courtesy of Macy's, Inc.