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Macy’s Herald Square – Thanksgiving Day Parade for 80 Years, A Place that Matters

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The first parade, staged in 1924 and called “The Macy’s Christmas Parade,” featured live animals from the Central Park Zoo and was organized by Macy’s employees to celebrate their new American heritage. With the exception of World War II when the store ceremoniously deflated and donated its parade balloons to the war effort (generating 650 pounds of scrap rubber), the parade has been marching down the center of Manhattan almost every year since.

If, as the myth goes, one achieves the status of true New Yorker in part by bearing witness to the opening and closing of stores and restaurants throughout the city, then Macy’s is indeed as New York as it gets. Much has changed in Herald Square since Macy’s set down roots there in 1902, but through it all, the grand department store has been the centerpiece of the area watching as others have come and gone.

The history of Macy’s extends back even further than its years in Herald Square. The store was originally founded by Rowland H. Macy in 1858. What began as a dry goods store grew to become “The World’s Largest Store” and the last turn of the century department store still in existence today. With its original wooden escalators still in operation and its picture windows still displaying the latest fashions, the store is a Place that Matters and a true New Yorker.