Saturday, November 21, 2009
Mickey Marches (Make That Floats) For Macy's Once More
As we await the annual feast of balloons, floats, bands and stars that is the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, let's celebrate the return of Mickey Mouse to this great American tradition. Mickey first flew over 34th Street in 1934, when the Mouse became one of the first character balloons just in time to help Macy's have a successful Christmas season in the depths of the Great Depression. (Proof that Mickey went all out for Macy's that year is evidenced by the famed Macy's star on the balloon's chest, visible in some photos.) That early version of Mickey was part of the parade for several years, and a new Mickey balloon was added decades later, in the 1970s (the Donald Duck balloon seen here first flew in the 1960s), while a spectacular, beautifully designed Bandleader Mickey soared over Manhattan as Macy's mascot in 2000. Now 2009 sees Mickey return in a fourth helium-filled incarnation as Sailor Mickey—and once again this merry Mouse serves as Macy's official Holiday Ambassador. Perhaps it's no surprise that Macy's is again turning to Mickey in these troubled times just as the nation's most famous department store did during the Depression. See the all-new Mickey soar once more in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this Thursday on NBC.