Monday, November 20, 2006

Parade Historian Gives Thanks To Macy’s

NEW YORK (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Many people use Thanksgiving (Nov. 23) to honor the pilgrims, but one historian prefers to celebrate the folks who started the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Robert Grippo has been researching the parade for years and says this year marks its 80th birthday, even though it began in 1924.

That’s because the parade was suspended for three years during World War II so that the rubber and helium used for the giant balloons could be used in the war effort.

Mickey Mouse and the Big Bad Wolf were some of the first characters to be turned into giant balloons and Grippo says parade organizers used to let the balloons free at the end of the parade and gave rewards to those who returned them.

Although the parade was organized by the Macy’s department store in New York, it didn’t get known as that until 1947 when Miracle On 34th Street was released.

By the way, a colorized version of the film featuring a featurette about the parade hits stores tomorrow (Nov. 21).

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