See The Evolution Of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons

Published November 25, 2015
Updated December 12, 2017

More than 3.5 million people flood the streets of New York City every Thanksgiving morning to witness the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which officially began in 1924. Check out how the event’s signature giant balloons have changed over the last nine decades in the gallery below:

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Felix
The 1927 Felix the Cat balloon was the first ever designed for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and was filled with hot air as opposed to helium.MTV Geek

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Dachshund
In 1929, this dachshund balloon was released into the sky following the parade.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Captain Nemo
A Captain Nemo balloon from the pages of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea appeared in the 1929 parade. The Wire

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Hippo
The Happy Hippo made its first appearance in the 1931 parade and was officially retired in 2012.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Mickey Mouse
The 1934 Mickey Mouse balloon was the first parade balloon created with the help of Walt Disney.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Cantor
This 1934 balloon modeled after performer Eddie Cantor was the first-ever balloon in the parade made in the image of a real person. It is shown here during its outing in the 1940 parade.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Pinocchio
The 1935 Pinocchio balloon had a 44-foot-long nose. Pinocchio is shown here in 1940.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Superman
The Superman balloon that lead the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1940 still holds the record for the largest balloon ever to appear in the parade.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Santa
It’s not the holiday season until Santa Claus is ushered in.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Elf
The official Macy's Elf in 1947. Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Harold Fireman
1948: Harold makes his first appearance in the parade as a fireman. Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Harold Baseball
Harold returned to the parade in 1949, this time as a baseball player.Macy's

vintage macys thanksgiving day parade photos spaceman
In 1952, five years before the launch of Sputnik, a giant spaceman flew above the streets. Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Popeye
Popeye floating in the 1961 parade. The balloon debuted in 1959. Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Bullwinkle
1961 marked the debut of Bullwinkle J Moose.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Snoopy
1968's Flying Ace Snoopy was the very first Snoopy balloon to be featured in the lineup.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Kermit
1977: Kermit the Frog makes his debut in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Turkey
From the 1984 parade: Tom the Turkey followed by Donald Duck.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Betty Boop
Betty Boop on the Moon debuted in 1985. The classic character became an instant parade favorite.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Pink Panther
1988 marked the debut of the Pink Panther in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day lineup.Macy's

Vintage Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos Clifford
In 1990, everyone's favorite big red dog, Clifford, made his debut. Macy's

Liked this? Try 24 fantastic vintage images of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or see what Wall Street looked like in the early 20th century.

Erin Kelly
An All That's Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she's designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.