The Thanksgiving Day Parade was started in 1924 by immigrant workers at Macy’s Department Store. They had escaped repressive conditions in Russia and elsewhere and had a workers’ sense of solidarity and appreciation. They wanted to celebrate this American holiday with a European-style festival of the sort their parents had enjoyed.

What would they think of the 2017 parade, which has become an almost total corporate advertising shtick? Even compared to last year, I was astonished at the change.

First, the best stuff. I love the Red Hot Momas, grey-haired women pushing props such as an ironing table joking about their “roles,” and then doing a fast strut and kick down the street!

And the Ohio band was terrific, not just the blazing horns, but their sudden movements into jive dance. Original, exciting.

The clowns are always wonderful. Funny faces, funny costumes.


Every year’s big apple and yellow taxis float is great. (Won’t mention the corporate sponsor.)

And here’s a dancing firelady. New York Fire Dept, that is fine.  And a shark man.

Floats came from far.

Here’s Hawaii. Same as last year, but cheers to these guys who leave Hawaii sun to freeze in NYC 30-degree weather!

And then from Kentucky, oh, oh, guess what chicken company. A nice cake float. Guess what pie company. On and on.

Can’t anything happen without commercial advertising? Don’t know who put up this green monster, but don’t care.

Yes, I know it costs money to pay for these floats, even so….

Don’t know who sponsored the cool stilt walker. Don’t care.

Kids love the event. But when people from the animated TV show “Sponge Bob” started shouting their slogan and getting kids on the sidelines to repeat it in unison, I cringed.

Photos by Lucy Komisar.

Visit Lucy’s website The Komisar Scoop.