Celebrating Turkey Day at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is the biggest Turkey Day celebration in the country, welcoming 3.5 million people each year to the streets of Manhattan on the fourth Thursday of every November. Travelers come from all over the country to take part in the fun festivities using their New York car rentals (or their New Jersey car rental if they're coming from the Garden State) to get around and explore the metropolis before the celebration begins. Don't miss out on one of the greatest American traditions and a truly dazzling spectacle filled with marching bands, vibrant floats and talented performers - book a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade car rental and learn about the event before heading to the Big Apple in November.
History of the parade
Established in 1924, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the oldest of its kind in the country. It was first started by Macy's employees - most of whom were immigrants using the festivities to showcase their love for America. It was a tiny parade back then, with little more than zoo animals, a marching band and some humble floats. But it still managed to attract some 250,000 people, spurring festival organizers to continue the parade each year. It has since expanded in size and breadth, becoming one of America's most beloved traditions.
Features of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
When you arrive at the parade after parking your New York City car rental, you'll be greeted by a massive crowd of millions of cheering New Yorkers and visitors. The parade, which is sponsored by NBC and televised all around the world, is typically hosted by TV icons Al Roker, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. The whole thing kicks off with the words, "Let's Have a Parade," sending the crowd into a roar of delight. This three-hour procession, which starts at 9 a.m. and ends at noon, covers more than 40 city blocks. The parade route begins at 77th Street and Central Park West and twists and turns its way down Columbus Circle, Broadway and 34th Street before ending at the doorstep of Macy's Herald Square on Seventh Avenue.
While the parade was once a humble affair, today it is made up of more than 8,000 marchers, including clowns who juggle and entertain the young ones, musicians (there are nearly a dozen marching bands among other acts), 1,600 cheerleaders and a jolly Santa Claus who gets spectators ready for the spirit of the holidays. The highlight, of course, is the collection of more than a dozen mammoth-sized balloons designed after iconic American characters, not to mention more than three dozen other interesting balloons of smaller sizes and shapes. Note that driving and parking in Manhattan can be very difficult during this event, so you may want to leave your Newark International Airport car rental at the hotel or in a nearby parking garage to avoid unnecessary hassle.