12 things you didn't know about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

With millions of people ready to see the balloons float among the New York City buildings, Macy's will launch its 91st Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Parade newcomers for 2017 include Olaf from Disney's Frozen, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, PAW Patrol and Jett from Super Wings.

Here are 12 things you may not know about the parade's history (via Macy's):

1. In 1924 a group of Macy's employees, many of whom were immigrants, asked the company to put on a parade to give thanks and celebrate the coming of Christmas.

2. Elephants, tigers and other Central Park Zoo animals paraded from 1924 to 1926 in the " Macy’s Christmas Parade."

3. Character balloons were introduced in 1927. They were air-filled and held up by sticks. Helium was used shortly after and 1933's balloon would get sound effects.

4. The parade finally got its modern name, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, in the 1930s.

5. From 1929 to 1932 balloons were released at the end of the parade. Macy's offered $25 gift cards for their return.

6. Celebrities joined the parade in 1934. Eddie Cantor, who was fictionalized as a character in HBO's Boardwalk Empire, was the first.

7. The parade made is big-screen debut in 1947's Miracle on 34th Street.

8. The Rockettes made their parade debut in 1958.

9. There were no balloons in the 1971 parade.

10. Ballon flight teams, including handlers, captains and pilots, take over the controls in thr 1980s.

11. Falloons (balloon and float combo) are introduced to the parade in 1990 with The Wizard of Oz and Paddington Bear.

12. New technology in the 2000s allows for SpongeBob SquarePants to put his square pants on.

For even more fun facts, visit the parade's website.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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