85 Years of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Pictures Slideshow


1924: Santa


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."

1960s: Superman


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

1970s: Rockettes


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.

1980s: Garfield


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).

2006: Rockettes

They're still going strong today.

2006: Snoopy


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).