Macy’s Day Parade 2007

November 14, 2007

November is a magical month in New York City! There is a brisk chill in the air as holiday decorations begin to come alive in the Manhattan landscape. This all in anticipation of one of the city’s most festive and colorful events – the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have fond memories as a boy of this traditional parade. My father would carry a 12 ft ladder to the parade, set it up in the middle of the sidewalk, and let me climb to the top to get a bird’s eye view, high above the crowds below. I felt I was the luckiest kid around because the clowns, bands and even the balloon carriers would always wave to me and at times give me a thumb’s up from my special perch at the parade.

My expectations for the parade this year are high as Macy’s will mark its magnificent 81st anniversary by combining what has excited and awed us from the past, with blending in the new. The parade steps off at a prompt 9am with a new opening song, “Making Magic”, written by Michael Feinstein. The song was specially written for 600 children who will dance to the creative choreography of John Dietrich of Radio City Rockettes fame. The children were trained by Camp Broadway, which offers summer programs for youngsters taught by theater professionals. As always, we will look to the skies to marvel at Macy’s signature helium balloons. This year three new balloons will float over the Great White Way and the crowds below. The jolly green ogre, Shrek along with Hello Kitty, Supercute and Abby Cadabby will be added to the exciting ensemble. The balloons have come a long way since 1927 when Felix the Cat, a Dragon, Elephant and a Toy Solider made their debut.

As you are enjoying the parade, remember these interesting facts about Macy’s. The department store that hosts this event is the largest department store in the world, totaling 2.3 million square ft. of retail space. An astounding 5,000 people work in the store, (it seems that 4,000 work in the perfume section alone!…haha), with over 325 different departments to pick and choose from. Macy’s is named for R.H. Macy its founder who was a unique character in his own right. For many years Macy’s regularly advertised Its a “Whale” of a Sale at Macy’s, why ?- R.H. Macy was originally from Boston and was a whaler in his younger days. Another item to notice, the apostrophe in the Macy’s name is a star. The star was inspired by the several star tattoos that R.H. Macy sported on his arm that he got during his sailor days.

Important things to remember:

1. No tickets are sold for the parade
2. The night before the parade, the helium balloons are blown up on 77th street between Central Park West and Columbus Ave. This activity is open to public viewing from 3pm to 10pm.
3. Bleacher seating is available on Central Park West from 72nd street to 59th street. The best place to view the parade is either 61st to 72nd street on Central Park West or Times Square. (49th street to 42nd street on Broadway)
4. It’s good to show up early for the event, I recommend 6:30am to 7am.
5. Macy’s department store is closed all day, Thanksgiving day.
Have a Joyful, Memorable and Happy Thanksgiving!

steven-duer.jpg

Written by: Steve Duer “The King of NYC” -Marvelous Manhattan Tours

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