When you tune into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade this year with your kids, share these fun facts about the legendary event.
The number, in millions, of viewers who tune in to watch the parade (which starts at 9:00 a.m. EST) each year. Add that to the more than 8,000 parade participants and 3.5 million on-site spectators and you've got a whole lot of eyes!
The number of times that the parade has gone on. It was started by Macy's employees in 1924 and featured real animals from the Central Park Zoo, including elephants, lions and tigers. They've marched every year since, which the exception of three years during World War II.
The number of balloons featured in 1927, the first time the infamous floaters were used. The cast of characters: Felix the Cat, a dragon and a toy soldier. In 1929, helium was first used to fill the balloons. As a grand finale, the balloons were released at the end of the parade. But, much to the surprise of organizers and spectators, they burst in the air when they got too high!
The number of pounds of scrap rubber that were donated to the government for use in World War II when Macy's suspended the parade for three years due to rubber and helium shortages. They actually donated all the balloons to the war effort.
The number of different Snoopy balloons that have flown over Manhattan throughout the years, prior to the newest Snoopy debuting this year. There have also been four different Mickey balloons.
The tallest height, in feet, that the balloons can stand up to. But, they all also fold up small enough to be trucked through the Lincoln Tunnel the night before!
Originally published in Scholastic Parent & Child magazine. Photo courtesy of Macy's.