36 – New York for Piccolas and Piccolos : Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

As the United States prospered during the Roaring Twenties, so did New York City’s iconic department store—Macy’s. After going public in 1922, R. H. Macy & Co. started to acquire competitors and open regional locations. Macy’s flagship store in Manhattan’s Herald Square did such a brisk business that it expanded in 1924 to cover an entire city block stretching from Broadway to Seventh Avenue along 34th Street.

To showcase the opening of the “World’s Largest Store” and its 1 million square feet of retail space at the start of the busy holiday shopping season, Macy’s decided to throw New York a parade on Thanksgiving morning. In spite of its timing, the parade was not actually about Thanksgiving at all but the next major holiday on the calendar—Christmas. Macy’s hoped its “Christmas Parade” would whet the appetites of consumers for a holiday shopping feast.


How to watch the Parade

Location: The Parade begins at 77th Street & Central Park West at 9am. The Parade will march south on Central Park West. At Columbus Circle, the Parade will then turn EAST onto Central Park South instead of heading down Broadway. When the Parade reaches 6th Avenue, it turns south to 34th Street. At 34th Street it heads west to Macy's Herald Square and ends at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue at around noon.

Admission: Free. There are no tickets available to the general public for seating. However, a select number of seats are available to charitable organizations (you must be a 501C3) to auction off at fundraisers. For more information contact the parade directly at paradequestions@macys.com. Spectators with special needs can call Healing Arts Initiative at 212-284-4100.

Hours: 9am - 12pm

Additional Information: Near the end of the Parade, many people converge plus the Official Viewing Area and media platform area make it inaccessible to the public. It is not recommended to try and see the parade from near the media platform – unless you like being a sardine :-)

The Route: check out map below

My list of 45 things to enjoy with kids in NYC