The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade started as a two-block-long procession requested by a group of Macy's employees in 1924 to celebrate the coming of Christmas. Since then, the parade has grown to attract more than 3.5 million spectators and tens of millions of television viewers and represent to many the start of the holiday season.

A fish balloon and a tiger balloon proceed through Manhattan during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, circa 1929.
Underwood Archives/Getty Images