Every Thanksgiving more than 3.5 million spectators cheer on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade along the two-and-a-half-mile route while 50 million viewers watch on television and over the Internet. The first parade took place in 1924 as a way to kick-off the Christmas holiday shopping period. Macy’s promised parade-goers “a marathon of mirth” in its advertisements, and the parade featured floats such as the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Little Miss Muffet, and Little Red Riding Hood; animals from the Central Park Zoo, including bears, elephants, camels, and monkeys; musical bands; and, of course, Santa Claus in his sleigh pulled by reindeer. The parade was so successful it was repeated yearly, except the zoo animals were thankfully replaced by the now iconic character balloons. The night before the parade, I watched workers inflate these incredible balloons. I was going to offer to help since I have pretty good lung capacity but they seemed to have everything under control. Happy Thanksgiving to all!