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Crazy Macy's Thanksgiving Parade facts that most people don't know about

Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off 9 a.m. this Thursday. The floats start in Manhattan Upper West Side neighborhood before moving downtown toward Macy's flagship department store on 34th Street in New York City.

The legendary parade has come a long way since its debut in 1924. The parade was originally named the “Macy’s Christmas Parade” and was started by store employees who wanted to celebrate the holiday season with an event reminiscient of their hometown European festivals.

The original 5.5 mile route had floats, workers marching. clowns and even some live animals like lions, tigers and elephants from the Central Park Zoo. In 1927, Macy’s decided rename the parade and gear it towards Thanksgiving. The company also introduced cartoon character floats. One of the first balloons ever used was Felix the Cat. Do you have a real passion for parades? Check out more fun facts about Macy's annual spectacle:

More than 50 million people will be watching the Macy’s Day Parade on television

3.5 million people watching along the parade route!

The longest balloon in the parade

Is the Red Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger measuring 77-feet long. Just one of his arms is the size of a standard school bus.

More than 40 gallons of florescent paint and 5 barrels of glitter were used to create

The flames on the character balloon, Eruptor from "Skylanders."

It takes more than 800 internal tie-lines to keep SpongeBob SquarePants afloat.

Spongebob Squarepants was the first-ever square balloon in the Parade. Took more than 800 internal tie-lines to keep SpongeBob afloat!

Thomas the Train

Thomas the Train will be chugging along the parade route for it’s third year. The balloon measures 51-feet long, 23-feet wide, 47-feet tall, making Thomas the parade’s largest balloon by helium volume. It contains the most balloon fabric ever used to design one character.

The highest hair award

This year goes to one of the newest balloons, Poppy of Dreamwork’s "Trolls," Branch and Guy Diamond - both Trolls' iconic hair stands more than 12-feet tall and it's one of the parade’s widest balloons at 38 inches.

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