Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

It's as much a part of Thanksgiving as the turkey and pumpkin pie, but do you know the history behind this holiday tradition? Take this quiz to see how much you know about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

What year did Macy's sponsor its first holiday parade?

The company went public in 1922 and celebrated with a holiday Christmas parade on Nov. 27, 1924.


How long was the original parade route?

The original route stretched 6 miles, from Harlem to Herald Square, but the actual parade was only about two blocks long.


What was the theme of the first Macy's parade?

The first parade was inspired by the store's holiday window displays, which featured characters from Mother Goose nursery rhymes.


Who was the first parade balloon?

The very first of the famous balloons featured Felix the Cat, who soared above parade crowds in 1927.


What year was the parade broadcast on television for the first time?

The parade was broadcast locally in 1946 and went to NBC for national viewing in 1947.


What year did the parade feature its first balloon depiction of a female character?

It took almost 60 years for some girl power to come to the parade, with an Olive Oyl balloon that debuted in 1982.


True or false: The company used to release the balloons into the air after the parade.

The giant balloons used to float off into the sunset, and the company offered a reward to anyone who found and returned one.


What year did Mickey Mouse make his debut?

A young Mickey Mouse required 25 attendants to keep him in line when he first appeared in 1934.


Who was the first human to get a balloon in the Macy's parade?

Comedian and actor Eddie Cantor was the first to see his own likeness in balloon-form along the parade route.


Roughly how much does it cost to launch a new balloon in the parade?

It costs at least $190,000 to create and launch a new balloon in its first year, plus around $90,000 per year for maintenance after that.


What year did Snoopy debut?

Snoopy debuted in his Flying Ace costume in 1968 and has been featured in at least seven different costumes through 2016.


True or false: The parade route has been cut in half since 1924.

Since its 1924 debut, the parade route has been cut from 6 miles (10 kilometers) to less than 3 miles, and the parade now travels from Columbus Circle to Herald Square.


What is the only year that Santa kicked off the parade, rather than bringing up the rear?

Organizers of the 1933 parade decided to have Santa lead the way. Every year before and since he has been the final attraction.


How do the parade floats get to Manhattan?

All the parades fold down to fit inside of a 12-by-8 foot box, which is small enough to fit through the Lincoln Tunnel.


What did the Blue Sky Gallery highlight?

The parade debuted its Blue Sky Gallery, which featured balloons decked out with modern art, in 2005.


How many people watch the parade on TV each year?

An estimated 50 million people watch the parade on TV each year, with around 3.5 million viewers lined up along the parade route.


How many handlers does an average balloon require?

A typical balloon requires around 90 handlers, and an estimated 4,000 people volunteer at the parade each year.


What city hosted the first store-sponsored Thanksgiving parade?

Macy's gets all the attention, but it was Philadelphia's Gimbel Brothers that sponsored the first Thanksgiving parade in 1920 — four year before Macy's in New York.


Whose hat dumped water over the crowd in the 1957 parade?

The parade audience was doused with water when Popeye's hat filled with rain and spilled over the crowd in 1957. Donald Duck did the same thing a few years later.


What was the first Macy's parade "falloon" focused on?

The first float/balloon combo debuted in 1990 and featured Paddington Bear and characters from "The Wizard of Oz."


What year did the first balloon based on an African-American character debut?

Little Bill represented the first African-American character in the parade when he debuted in 2002. Dora the Explorer broke the barrier for Latinas with her 2005 debut.


Felix the Cat was the first Macy's balloon. Who was the second?

A happy dragon balloon, which hugged the ground like a dragon in a traditional Chinese celebration, made its entrance just after Felix the Cat.


Which of these balloons bit the dust thanks to strong winds in 1997?

With winds topping 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour), Barney, the Pink Panther, the Cat in the Hat and the Quik Bunny all left the parade early in 1997.


True or false: People have been injured by the parade balloons.

In 1997 alone, two people were hospitalized for head injuries after run-ins with out-of-control balloons.


What character leads the parade each year?

The 21-foot-tall (6-meter-tall) Tom Turkey leads the parade, much to the delight of Thanksgiving fans everywhere.


Who was the first "Sesame Street" character to appear in the parade?

Big Bird was the first "Sesame Street" character to get his own balloon when he soared above the streets in 1986.


Who was the first video game character to get a balloon?

Sonic the Hedgehog beat Mario to the punch when he debuted in 1993.


What show provided the first three-character balloon?

"Rugrats" represented the first single balloon featuring three characters when it debuted in 1996.


What year did Superman make his balloon debut?

The Man of Steel debuted in 1940, the same year as Pinocchio.


What year did the Rockettes first appear in the parade?

The famous dancing group first appeared in 1957 and have made it into every parade since.


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