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20 Vintage Photos of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Jennifer M Wood
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A look back at 90 years of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This year marks the 90th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. To celebrate a near-century of the beloved Turkey Day tradition, we're looking back at parades past.

The first Santa float made its debut in 1924. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

Little Miss Muffett entertained the crowd in 1924. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

A "Balloonatics" float in 1926 is what inspired the creation of the parade's iconic character balloons. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc

In 1927, the parade introduced its first ever balloon: Felix the Cat. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.



The parade's second balloon? Happy Dragon. (Which also debuted in 1927.) Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

Rather than store it, parade officials released a gigantic Dachshund balloon into the air at the conclusion of the 1929 parade. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

In 1934, parade-goers caught a glimpse of the first balloon based on a real person: Eddie Cantor. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

Mickey Mouse has made many appearances over the years, in various incarnations. But the first Mickey balloon, which appeared in 1934's parade, was designed with the help of Walt Disney himself. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.



If the parade featured in 1947's Miracle on 34th Street looks real, that's because it is: To get into character for the role of Kris Kringle, actor Edmund Gwenn played Santa Claus in the 1946 parade while cameras captured the action. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

Harold the Fireman made his first appearance in 1948. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

The Peanuts were a hit in the 1960s. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

Bullwinkle was a crowd-pleaser in 1961. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.



An inflated Popeye floats above the 1961 Thanksgiving Day Parade as it nears Times Square. Photo by William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images.

Donald Duck says hello to parade-goers in 1962. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

Underdog was a hero in 1965.  Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

Superman took to the streets of New York in 1966. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.



Snoopy holds the record for most parade appearances, with 2016 marking his 40th outing. Over the years, there have been seven different Snoopy balloons, beginning with 1968's Flying Ace Snoopy. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

Being that the parade happens on Thanksgiving Day, it only seems appropriate to have a turkey. The Tom Turkey float—seen here in the 1970s—is the oldest float in the parade. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

The gang from Sesame Street made their first (of many) parade appearances in 1978. Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

What would the 1980s be without Strawberry Shortcake? Photo courtesy of Macy's, Inc.

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