1. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1924. It was first known as “Macy’s Christmas Parade” although it took place on Thanksgiving.
2. The floats are filled with a precise mixture of helium and air. On average, balloons are filled with 12,000 cubic feet of helium. It takes almost two hours to inflate a giant balloon.
3. Floats last about eight years, before they’re retired.
4. Mics used by performers are non-functioning. Most performers lip-sync to avoid the difficulties of singing while on a moving vehicle.
5. NBC is the parade’s official broadcaster. The CBS footage is unauthorized. Parade organizers have even rerouted the parade to avoid CBS cameras.
6. More than 3.5 million spectators line the streets of New York City each year and more than 50 million viewers tune in nationwide to watch the parade.
7. There are approximately 8,000 participants including balloon handlers, float escorts, clowns, marching bands, cheerleaders, dance groups and other performers.
8. The balloons used to be made of rubber. Now they’re made of a polyurethane fabric.
9. The Parade was suspended in 1942, 1943 and 1944 due to WWII.
10. Santa Claus has closed the Parade every year, except in 1933.