The strangest Macy’s Parade balloons ever

Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade has been a city tradition since 1924, and the iconic balloons began appearing three years later.

Since then, beloved characters from Felix the Cat (the first balloon) to Kermit the Frog to Sonic the Hedgehog have made an appearance (or two).

And while most of the balloons are met with great applause, looking back, some seem like, well, weird choices.

Like this Eddie Cantor balloon from the 1940 parade (above).

Cantor was a top singer in vaudeville and on Broadway at the time, but was the bug-eyed star really that popular with the kids of the day?

These days, the reputation of New York City police officers has taken a beating.

But in 1937, a cop appeared in balloon form at the parade, seen here (at left) on Broadway and 56th Street. I wonder how that would go over today.

Santa Claus of course isn’t a strange choice for a parade balloon.Since the launch of the parade, he’s been at the tail end of the procession, the last float to be welcomed into Herald Square.

What I want to know is, why does this Santa balloon, from the 1939 parade, look like he has a penis attached to his chin?

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4 Responses to “The strangest Macy’s Parade balloons ever”

  1. Lisa Says:

    His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
    His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
    His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
    And the penis on his chin was as white as the snow!

  2. Alex Says:

    Here’s a link to a rare 1939 film clip of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

  3. » INVENTING THANKSGIVING: The Construction of a Fictive Holiday | LOUDCANARY Says:

    […] One of several of the strangest Macy’s Parade ballons ever. […]

  4. 4 minutes of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, 1945 | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] was a milestone year for the parade, which started in 1924: it had been suspended for the three previous years because of rubber and helium shortages brought […]

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