Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Balloon

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade- 1957 Popeye the Sailor

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. 

1957 Popeye The Sailor 1957

The float of Popeye the Sailor gave the crowd an unexpected surprise on November 28, 1957. Rainfall has collected on top of Popeye and when he started to float up in the air the freezing cold water began to slosh around. People watching the parade were caught in the splash zone and greeted with gallons of freezing cold rain water.