Families all across the United States commence celebrating Thanksgiving in completely separate ways with a wide range of different traditions, but I think we can all agree we all participate in one similar trend: watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV.
Of course, most of us gather ‘round the television set to adhere to the parade while the turkey is in the oven cooking and we’re all seriously close to popping the cork on the wine. Or, some of us are far too tired and hungover to wake up early enough to catch the parade after going out and drinking on Thanksgiving Eve. Whichever choice is decided, there’s absolutely no denying how popular and culturally significant the parade has become over the decades.
For those familiar with the festivities, it’s certainly no secret that Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is undoubtedly the most popular of the bunch — although only one parade can call itself the oldest.
The oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade, explained
Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images
Despite Macy’s Parade being the most recognized and typically the parade heavily televised, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade is the oldest parade in the entire nation. Officially kicking off back in 1920, the parade has skyrocketed in popularity over the years and typically features the same elements as other parades — including celebrity performers, sky-high balloons, colorful floats, and school marching bands.
So even with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade being the largest parade in the country, the fact remains that Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day parade arrived four years before Macy’s, although it’s hard to argue with how impactful and celebrated both parades are in their own right.