Cat In The Hat Macy's Parade Balloon

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is as big part of the Thanksgiving holiday as football and turkey. Across the nation, approximately 50 million people tune in to watch the parade every year while 3.5 million New Yorkers watch it live. Did you know the first ever Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started over 90 years ago in 1924? Originally the parade was held to celebrate Macy’s grand opening of the “World’s Largest Store” with 1 million square feet of shopping retail. The parade was meant to create buzz about the store in time for the Christmas holiday shopping season. Nobody could have guessed that it would start a holiday tradition nearly a century later. Over the years, however, there have been a number of accidents associated with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons.

Cat in the Hat, 1997

Known as one of the worst, and largest, balloon accidents the parade’s history involved the Cat in the Hat and Barney. The Cat crashed into a lamppost and destroyed itself when the lamppost punched a hole in the balloon. Officials tried to prevent Barney from suffering a similar fate and proceeded to stable it until it was deflated and carried away safely by its handlers. I’d imagine the children weren’t too thrilled at the sight of their childhood heroes being stabbed to out of air.