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People Talk About Their First Time Watching The Macy's Parade


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Just how iconic? We asked a bunch of people about their first memory of watching the parade to find out!

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; courtesy of Macy's.

"For as long as I can remember, my mom would tell me that it wasn't Christmastime until Santa showed up at the end. That's so engrained in me that I'm 32 and still feel the same way."


Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the 40s; courtesy of Macy's.

"I have lived in NYC my entire life (minus the four years of college) and went to the parade once when I was about 8. I distinctly remember my grandma taking me and my sister. We sat outside in the freezing cold for about two hours waiting for it to start. My grandma had brought hot chocolate in thermoses that we clutched very tightly under the blankets as it started to snow!"


Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; courtesy of Macy's.

"Growing up in NY, I have lots of memories of the parade. The first time we went to see it in person, we watched from a neighbor's office building, and I made eye contact with Snoopy. It was crazy!"


Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the 90s; courtesy of Macy's.

"I remember waking up early on Thanksgiving morning and watching the Macy's parade on a little 13-inch black-and-white TV on a stool while my mom cooked Thanksgiving dinner. It was one of the few times in childhood where watching the TV was not only allowed but encouraged. It was considered positively wholesome. I still associate the announcers' voices and the giant, bulbous balloons floating down the streets of New York with the smell of turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes cooking."


Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; courtesy of Macy's.

"The first time I went to New York, it was around Thanksgiving. I was 8. We went to the Macy's parade, and what I remember very clearly was a giant Snoopy floating by me, while a kid with a Ninja Turtles yarmulke stood next to me, and I thought all of that was simply amazing."


Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; courtesy of Macy's.

"My aunt and uncle, who live 20 minutes away in Jersey, were the first to take us to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and it became a tradition we did for years afterward. I was about 11 the first time — my sister and I slept over my aunt's house with our little cousin. We would wake up just before sunrise, get bundled up, and get in the car and make a donut run. We would get to the city as the morning was starting and would look out the window as we crossed the bridge and started to get sooooo excited. We would park, get in our dozens of layers, then walk over to Central Park West and park ourselves right in front of the blue police barricades. We would drink hot cocoa, eat more donuts, play 20 Questions–type games as the area crowded with people. When it finally started, it was just SO amazing. I'd take pictures of everything with a disposable camera. I would squeal over my favorite characters as enormous balloons and wish that I was riding at the top of a float.

"It became a tradition that when we saw Santa coming up to mark the end of the parade, my uncle would say, 'Welp, there's Santa. He came; let's go home.' And eventually as the years went on, we would actually leave as soon as the speck that is Santa became visible far down the parade line."


Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the 90s; courtesy of Macy's.

"I grew up in North Carolina but remember hearing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade play on TV throughout our house every Thanksgiving morning. According to my Nana, it was a MUST.

"Later, when I moved to NYC, I always made a point to travel home or to visit family for the holiday, so I still viewed the parade on TV...until 2012. I was 26 and going to miss out on family Thanksgiving for the first time. But I wasn't alone. My best friend and roommate, Amy, was also staying in the city. We had plans for a Friendsgiving later that day but decided to make the most of our holiday and walked together to see the parade IN PERSON for the first time. We snagged a pretty good spot near the southern entrance of Central Park and watched together as huge balloons drifted past. It was really special and set the tone for an awesome Thanksgiving Day."



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