the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Alice’s Restaurant

There is a song referred to as “Alice’s Restaurant,” and it is a tradition for some to hear to on Thanksgiving Working day. It is about Alice, and as American singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie’s lyrics go, “about two Thanksgivings ago,” which, for you and me, would be 2019. For Arlo’s story, and our stories, that was a life span in the past and a lifetime-shifting turning place. For “Alice’s Cafe,” properly, that is just a custom, but right here we are now, with each other in 2021 let’s love our present, our year, our moment in time.

Becoming Disney lovers, we enjoy a very good parade. It is a requirement. We have been missing accumulating together the Disney park parade routes and waiting on the control with our treats and snacks from the Main Avenue Confectionery for the parade to appear all around the corner. But we do have a fantastic parade, now, in New York Town.

Whilst I grew up in New Jersey, my mothers and fathers have been born and raised (and are at present living) in New York Town. Every yr on Thanksgiving Day, my father would collect his a few tiny women tremendous early (consider 6am) and would head off to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Working day Parade. My mom stayed home she cooked for the day ahead and never ever liked the chilly anyway. This was the next huge traditional outing every year when my father was thoroughly in cost of his 3 small girls (the other getting our spring outing to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Circus). This tradition lasted for a long time and continues currently in distinct types.

It was freezing!!! In the early 1970’s via the 1980’s, I bear in mind that November in New York back again then was correct “winter.” The parade was loud, it was cold, and there was so substantially to glimpse at! We would hold out hours for it to start out. I don’t forget my father possessing a hand-held, battery-operated radio to let us know when the parade commenced and we experienced to wait around for it to occur to our viewing place. We weren’t with my Dad through the parade. He did the New York press approach. Actually, he pushed us to the entrance of the curb for the reason that we had been so small so we could see it alongside one another although he stood in the back with the grownups. Back then there were being no barricades like they have now. And the marching bands would appear I recall the percussion appears drumming from my abdomen and the clowns shouting “Happy Thanksgiving.”

Disney and Macy’s parades have so much in typical. They are like brother and sister, and they do a parade ideal. From the costumes to the audio, to the floats, balloons, and performers almost everything labored in unison to produce a present and to convey to a tale. I didn’t even know until eventually I was a young grownup that Macy’s had an full exhibit for viewing at home, and that there had been performances. We had been usually at the parade! Who understood?!

Disney has been represented in the Macy’s parade for a long time, pretty much considering that its inception. Macy’s began their Christmas or Santa Claus Parade, as it was initially identified as, back again in 1924. Disney started their romance with Macy’s in 1934 when the to start with Mickey Mouse balloon debuted. Walt Disney himself experienced a hand in its generation. I remember (see photo underneath) seeing the 1970’s Mickey Mouse balloon fly overhead in the streets of NYC. At the time, I was not a massive lover mainly because I wasn’t common with Disney and leaned extra towards the Snoopy balloon. Snoopy and the Sesame Street floats have been my prime two favorites (why Disney doesn’t own the Snoopy IP I will never ever comprehend), but it was Kermit that I was mesmerized by.

The Kermit the Frog balloon at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Working day Parade each year, in human being, was great. From 1977 to 1982 (placing me at 6 to 10 decades old) Kermit flew, and I don’t forget him vividly cruising just about every yr in front of me since he was normally a bit dilapidated. A single arm was deflated, or his foot would scrape versus the New York City streets. That was my favourite portion: the messy, damaged balloons. They would fall so close to the ground and have to be dragged by the costumed handlers so you would get to be genuinely near to them. For a person so small, I cherished it when Kermit would be so shut you that could contact him. Kermit and Spiderman would always be a bit wonky. Children really like when points go incorrect in the most effective way!

Original, mid to late 1970’s

As I acquired more mature, I keep in mind Disney balloons coming and going through the a long time. I did not stop “get” the Mickey Mouse cruise ship sailor balloon in the 2000’s mainly because I was not a lover. I cherished the floats with the Disney people on them. And, at moments, Goofy or Donald would appear and go. Excitement Lightyear was electrical, but Hen Small not so much.

These days, my favorite has been Olaf, and considering that I’ve gotten older, I have been enjoying the Macy’s parade not in parade kind but throughout balloon blowing time the night time ahead of Thanksgiving. Viewing them blow up Olaf in human being from the ground up has been far more intriguing to me as my small children are now grownups and join me for the parade blowing once-a-year wander.

When I was younger, I keep in mind complaining that I was cold (from time to time it snowed or rained but we nonetheless went it was custom soon after all), and I was hungry, I was drained, and my ft harm. But wouldn’t you know, I grew up and shared this tradition with my little ones. Times improved, we now have barricades, extreme stability, and we sit with chairs and blankets waiting around at 6am (we received smarter staking out our location). We endured November 2001 and did certainly go to our beloved parade, showing support for each and every other and watching the American flag march by us we had no concern.

When the parade was completed, my Dad would would wander us back again to our little Toyota, holding in our bladders for the journey residence, sneakers off, warmth on and squished in the backseat, the NYC road smells dissipating as the odor of turkey waited for us at dwelling. The worst section, simply because we ended up minor was that my father experienced command of the radio. There had been no CDs, no tapes, no constructed-in televisions, just our small 1970’s Toyota with him in demand of the radio. Right here will come Alice…

Airing each year at noon on Thanksgiving Working day in excess of the radio, he would tune in to listen (and sing but he did not know all the phrases and was genuinely negative) to Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant.” Each individual. Solitary. Yr. Did you know that it is a track that lasts 18 minutes? Actually, it’s about 18 minutes. I continue to don’t even know if it is a Thanksgiving tune or an anti-war song I just know you have to perform it at midday on Thanksgiving Day. Tradition. Required.

The tradition continues from my dad’s three very little girls to his grandsons many years afterwards

Past 12 months we did not get to go to the parade we skipped it, and we understand why. This 12 months, when you and I watch the 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, regardless of whether we’re at dwelling, or on the balloon inflation wander, or at the parade in person, it will be great to welcome it back. A new appreciation again for Broadway’s return, children drumming their defeat in marching bands and Disney showcasing their Little one Yoda (Grogu) as a new balloon along with a new Disney Cruise Line float with Jordan Fisher debuting a new song, “Together We Set Sail.”  

Final year we all Zoomed and FaceTimed my father and mother in New York City instantly at midday because we could not be collectively and we performed that nuts, bewildering tune. But in 2020, we all collected all over our own houses and beloved it. You can recognize why. It was not the tune, it was the custom.

Whether or not you are in the Disney parks for Thanksgiving this year or residence, what are your Thanksgiving traditions? If you could choose a Disney balloon to be in the parade, which character would it be?

Satisfied Thanksgiving to my wonderful DIS group, my extended family members and close friends. I am so grateful to all of you and take pleasure in that you browse my posts, bring me into your properties, and like Disney with me.