Does your family watch the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? Have you ever seen it in person?

The parade is one of my favorite ways to kick off the holiday season, I especially like all of the giant character balloons floating among the tall buildings in New York City. Do you have a favorite? I'd have to say Spiderman is one of my all-time favorites, it looks like he could really be crawling up some of the structures along the parade route.

NBC carried the 85th annual broadcast of the parade on Thanksgiving morning.








Speaking of parades, the 21st annual Cheyenne Christmas Parade starts in downtown at 5 on Saturday night, November 26. It begins at Carey and Lincolnway, heads north to 24th Street in front of the State Capitol building and then moves south on Capitol Avenue to the Depot Plaza.

A great place to watch is near the American National Bank, where our stations are located, because our very own Curt Jackson will be broadcasting from the second floor, telling you about all the floats and organizations involved.

How much do you know about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? The Mother Nature Network website compiled 8 interesting facts about the annual event that you may not have known.

The Macy's parade in New York began in 1924, but it's not the oldest Thanksgiving day parade, that distinction belongs to Philadelphia, which began it's parade four years earlier in 1920.

The parade started using giant inflatable animal balloons in 1928. Prior to that, real animals from New York's Central Park Zoo were part of the parade.

From 1928 until 1933, the giant helium-filled balloons were released into the sky at the end of the parade with a return address written on them. Anyone who found them would be urged to mail it back to the address. This practice was stopped after a pilot nearly crashed his plane.

Because of World War II, there were no helium balloons used from 1942 to 1944 due to a helium shortage.

From 1962 to 1971, NBC's coverage of the parade was hosted by Betty White and "Bonanza" star Lorne Greene.

High winds have, on occasion, resulted in the intentional popping of balloons due to safety concerns. The most well-known incident occurred in 1997 when a balloon collided with a light post, which then collapsed and injured several spectators. (Now we know why there are no giant balloons in the Cheyenne Christmas Parade).

The enormous balloons and floats are assembled in a warehouse in New Jersey.

In 2003, the role of Mrs. Claus on the Santa float was actually played by actor Harvey Fierstein.

That's the float that traditionally finishes up the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and ushers in the next holiday, Christmas.

Here's a bonus fact, competing department store, Gimbels actually started their parade before Macy's.

And now you know.