Reserve a New York City car rental for Turkey Day and get ready to take part in an exciting American tradition. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the biggest celebration of its kind in the country, inviting more than 8,000 people to walk along the streets of Manhattan along with a multitude of colorful floats, lively performers and marching bands. About 3.5 million people come from all over the country to see the spectacle from the sidelines, and another 50 million watch on television from home. Start planning your trip by shopping New York car rentals or New Jersey car rentals, depending on where you land, and learn a little about this unique event:
History of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was started in 1924, starting out as a modest event that featured little more than 10 parade features, like zoo animals, small floats and a marching band. It was a way for Macy's employees, many of whom were immigrants, to display their American pride. Organizers were surprised with a the small event attracted a whopping quarter-million spectators, so they continued to throw the parade each year. It grew in size with every installment, attracting larger crowds and more creative minds to develop the tens of thousands breathtaking and dazzling elements that make up the annual celebration today.
What to expect at the parade
The first thing visitors notice when they join the crowds of the parade is the immense number of people who come from all parts of the world. Many arrive via different airports, utilizing Newark International Airport car rentals, JFK International Airport car rentals or LaGuardia International Airport car rentals to get around town. From the moment the traditional saying, "Let's Have a Parade," is uttered at 9 a.m., the parade makes its way along 43 blocks of Manhattan for three hours, covering 2.5 miles of road. It starts at Central Park West at 77th Street and meanders along Columbus Circle, Broadway and 34th Street. It ends at Seventh Avenue at the front of Macy's Herald Square, where spectators are waiting to greet the massive balloons, ornate floats, marching bands and other energetic paraders.
The procession showcases more than a dozen massive balloons designed after iconic American figures and characters as well as nearly 40 more balloons that are just as interesting but smaller in scale. Thousands of cheerleaders and dancers amp up the energy, while clowns juggle and entertain the young ones. A highlight of the procession is Santa Claus, who waves at children and adults alike and gets New Yorkers ready to get into the Christmas spirit. Keep in mind that many of the streets throughout Manhattan are closed to traffic during this time due to the huge crowds, so you may want to leave your Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade rental car at the hotel and use public transit.