Macy’s thanksgiving ad parade

Ronald_mcdonald_2Now that we’ve finally attended our first ever Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (see photographic evidence at left), we thought we’d finally be able to knowledgeably answer the question of whether the parade is an endearing holiday tradition or the ghastly opening salvo to another hugely commercial Christmas season.
But our feelings were decidedly mixed. On the one hand, it’s always unnerving to find that your offspring have an encyclopedic knowledge of characters from cartoons you never even knew they watched, but on the other hand the balloons, many of which are heavily bandaged after years of running into skyscrapers, bitter Thanksgiving winds and New York City lampposts, have this surprisingly homemade quality, like someone’s wacky uncle dreamt them up in his garage. They’re supersized and yet surprisingly fragile, which takes away some of their overtly commercial sting. Even the almighty Ronald McDonald looked just a little tentative about his buoyancy. Amazingly enough, there seemed to be little in terms of memorabilia for sale—at least at the corner of 43rd and Broadway. The only thing the kids Adfreak went with really wanted was one of those massive New York street pretzels, brand name unknown.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor