From Controversies To Kelly Clarkson, 10 Unbelievable Moments From Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

10 Moments From Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Over The Years: Pics
Source: MEGA (3); YouTube

Nov. 26 2020, Updated 3:18 p.m. ET

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Every year we look forward to the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — the kick-off to the Christmas season.

The parade began with a single balloon in 1924 and now has become a TV spectacle, with over-the-top floats, larger-than-life balloons and incredible performances.


From Ariana Grande performing with the cast of Hairspray Live! to the iconic Barney balloon meeting its untimely fate — the parade has been full of some truly incredible moments.

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With the ongoing pandemic, the event will look a little different this year. Instead of a parade that walks the streets of NYC, there will be a smaller celebration in front of the iconic Macy’s store on 34th Street.

Scroll through to see 10 unbelievable moments from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade over the years.

Old Footage From 1959

Nostalgia alert! Some incredible footage from the 1959 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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The Cat In The Hat Injured 4 People

Thanksgiving 1997 was an incredibly windy day in NYC. The iconic Cat in the Hat balloon got caught in some strong wind gust and mayhem ensued, injuring four people. One woman was in a coma for a month after the accident. The balloon would subsequently be removed from the parade lineup the following year.

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Barney Met His Untimely Fate

That same year in 1997, children watching from home were scarred when Barney got caught up in some strong winds and popped.

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Lin Manuel Miranda & The Cast Of ‘In The Heights’

Before Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda was part of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In The Heights — which led to this amazing performance from the cast in 2008.

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‘Kinky Boots’ Controversy

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The cast of the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots performed two songs — dazzling some viewers and infuriating others. Critics were appalled that the performance featured male actors in drag. “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has always spotlighted the best of Broadway since the ’60s, and this year is no exception," a rep for the retailer said in defense of the performance.

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Pop Royalty Ariana Grande Performing

Pop princesses Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson joined forces to give an incredible performance from the hit musical Hairspray in 2016. A must watch!

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Kelly Clarkson Singing Live

Although you expect performers to sing live while at the parade — with logistics, weather and sound issues, most do not. Kelly Clarkson stunned the world when she performed her hit song "Heat" during the parade in 2018.

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Rita Ora Busted

While Kelly Clarkson was singing live, Rita Ora was busted for lip synching her performance that year. Awkward!

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The Queen Diana Ross

The legendary Diana Ross performed at the 92nd annual Thanksgiving Day Parade with her daughter, Tracee Ellis Ross, and family lovingly singing backup.

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Snoopy Reigns Supreme

The beloved beagle has appeared more than any other character in the history of the parade, with Snoopy making his 2019 debut as an Astronaut.


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