85 Years of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Pictures Slideshow
Santa Claus had his Macy's debut in the parade's first year, in 1924; his presence has been a parade tradition every year since.
1924: Christmas Tree
The first parade was called the Macy's Christmas Parade, even though it took place on Thanksgiving Day. The float at left was a part of this first celebration.
1927: Felix the Cat
Felix debuted in the parade's third year, just before helium was used and balloons were let loose at the parade finish.
1934: Mickey Mouse
This beloved Disney character has appeared over the years in many iterations, most recently in his fourth, as "Sailor Mickey."
See, he does fly high through the air saving damsels in distress. While his second version is shown at left, he appeared again, in '80, as the largest balloon to date
They've performed their Christmas Spectacular at the parade every year since 1957.
1970s: Tom the Turkey
This float kicks off the parade every year, a tradition in place since the beginning in 1924.
The troublesome cat first debuted in 1984, later returning in 2003 (in a second edition). He is most famous for knocking over a handler in the high winds of the 2006 parade (no one was hurt).
They're still going strong today.
In his sixth iteration (the first being an aviator in 1968, an astronaut in 1972, an ice skater in 1987, with Woodstock in 1988, and celebrating the millenium in 1999), Snoopy flies high above Columbus Circle as an aviator.
2008: Tom the Turkey
In the past 40 years, little has changed when it comes to Tom's appearance. Even the pilgrims are still there.
2010: Kermit the Frog
He's a parade favorite, making his debut in 1978. He'll be flying again this year.
2010: Santa Claus
He's been a jolly, happy fixture of the parade for more than 85 years (and is still going strong).