By  on December 20, 2010

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade wasn’t always named so. When it made its debut in 1924, WWD announced the following on its Nov. 25 front page: “Macy’s to Hold Christmas Parade for Youngsters Through Streets. Event to Start Early Thanksgiving Morning With Clowns, ‘Wild’ Animals, Floats and Bands of Music.” The festivities kicked off at 8:30 a.m. when “several battalions of troupes” began marching down Convent Avenue at 145th Street, then to Morningside Avenue, Broadway, Eighth Avenue and so on. Among the familiar (and inflatable) faces: “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Little Miss Muffett and Santa Claus.” There were knights in armor; “Highpockets” Wilson, the stilt walker; a jazz band, and the “Street Cleaning Department band,” too. Once the parade reached the 34th Street flagship, a curtain parted on a 75-foot-wide window display revealing a spectacular sight: “The Fairy Frolics of Wonder Town,” a toy show by famed puppeteer Tony Sarg.

It wasn’t until the day after Thanksgiving that Macy’s decided to make the parade a permanent New York fixture. “So large and enthusiastic was the response to the Christmas Parade held by R. H. Macy & Co., Inc.,” WWD reported on Nov. 28, “that such a parade will hereafter be an annual feature of their Christmas program.” Until three years later, this is, when the event was renamed Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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