Entertainment TV Thanksgiving Throwback: 14 Iconic Photos of the Macy's Parade The beloved parade has gone on every year since 1924, except from 1942-1944, when it was suspended due to helium and rubber shortages related to World War II — Macy's donated 650 lbs. of rubber to the war effort during that time. Here, 14 iconic moments in its history for this Throwback Thanksgiving Thursday By Alex Heigl Published on November 27, 2019 02:40 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 14 1924: THE FIRST PARADE Courtesy Macy's It featured no balloons (and was also called the Christmas Day Parade), though it did have elephants! 02 of 14 1927: FIRST CHARACTER BALLOON DEBUTS Courtesy Macy's It's Felix the Cat! He hit some telephone wires and caught fire, which necessitated his removal from the parade. 03 of 14 1934: MICKEY MOUSE DEBUTS Courtesy Macy's Mickey's been redesigned four times, most recently in 2009. 04 of 14 1945: PARADE IS FIRST TELEVISED, ADOPTS ROUTE IT USES TODAY NBCU Photo Bank It was first broadcast nationally the next year. 05 of 14 1956: MIGHTY MOUSE DEFEATED, DEFLATED Hal Mathewson/NY Daily News Archive/Getty In 1956, Mighty Mouse failed to prevail against 45-mph winds and collapsed dramatically near Columbus Circle. 06 of 14 1961: BULLWINKLE BALLOON DEBUTS Gordon Rynders/NY Daily News Archive/Getty He was retired in 1983 and reintroduced in 1996, along with Rocky. 07 of 14 1968: SNOOPY DEBUTS IN THE FIRST OF HIS MANY COSTUMES NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Snoopy debuted as an aviator. From 1969 to 1977, he was an astronaut. In 1987, he was an ice skater, a costume he kept until 1994. In 2000, he was given a crown for the millennium, and from 2006 to 2011, he was the Flying Ace. The 2013 Snoopy was yet another redesign. 08 of 14 1977: KERMIT! Francois LE DIASCORN/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Kermit debuted in 1977, and two years later, became the first balloon to travel outside of the U.S. when he headed to England to help celebrate the International Year of the Child. 09 of 14 1980: THIRD — AND LARGEST-EVER — SUPERMAN DEBUTS NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Superman had multiple incarnations throughout the parade's history, but his 1980 edition was the largest-ever float, at 104-ft. long. 10 of 14 1982: OLIVE OYL BREAKS BARRIERS Visions of America/UIG/Getty Olive Oyl (pictured here with Swee'Pea) became the first-ever female character balloon in the parade in 1982. 11 of 14 1993: SONIC THE HEDGEHOG SPEEDS THROUGH NBCU Photo Bank Sonic became the first-ever video game character to get his own balloon in the parade in 1993. 12 of 14 1997: CAT IN THE HAT WREAKS HAVOC Evy Mages/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Wind gusts caused the Cat in the Hat balloon to hit a street lamp, severely injuring a spectator. 13 of 14 2005: BLUE SKY GALLERY Stephen Chernin/Getty The Blue Sky Gallery has turned the works of contemporary artists into floats and debuted at the parade with Tom Otterness's "Humpty Dumpty." Jeff Koons, Keith Haring and Tim Burton have all been featured, as well. 14 of 14 2020: THE PARADE GOES CROWD-LESS Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade switched formats in 2020, cutting almost all of its participants, requiring masks for those who did march and eliminating spectators for safety, opting to keep floats and Broadway performers close to the company's flagship store instead of down the miles-long parade route. "They're reinventing the event for this moment in history, and you'll be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "Not a live parade but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving Day." In 2021, the parade is resuming its normal format, with COVID-19 precautions in place.