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The 61st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held on November 26, 1987, in New York City, and shown to viewers live on NBC and CBS that same day from 9 a.m. to 12 noon EST, with the NBC broadcast being hosted by Willard Scott and Mary Hart. The participating celebrities included the likes of Rita Coolidge, The Oak Ridge Boys, Bobby Vinton, Phylicia Rashad, Judy Kaye and Jill Schulz.
The weather for the 1987 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade proved to be picture perfect for the several thousand participants that brought the 61st “Holiday Treat for Children Everywhere” to life. The 2.1-million spectators that lined the streets took a course in balloon watching as 10 giant balloons flew above them, four of which were new – Spider-Man, Ronald McDonald, Snoopy, and Snuggle. The debutants joined the balloon versions of Garfield, Woody Woodpecker, Superman, and a myriad of other helium giants.
Following the Albertville High School Aggie Band‘s entrance into the concrete canyons was a cavalcade of merry marchers, fantasy floats and comical clowns. The hit musical, Les Misérables, performed a number for the NBC telecast, and Rita Coolidge sang “Your Love Is Lifting Me Higher” from high atop the Turkeyfloat. Jim Henson and Willard Scott were also honored with a Macy’s-sanctioned Rollie Award – Henson for 11 years of Muppet participation in the Parade, with Willard’s Rollie for seven years of Parade participation. Patrick Swayze trotted down Broadway on his very own Arabian stallion, and Bobby Vinton rode–or flew, rather–an airplane float from Trans World Airlines.
Capping off the morning of fantasy-filled fun was Santa Claus, as always, who wished everyone a happy holiday season from his snow goose sleigh to start the 1987 holiday season
Listen to this episode of Totally Rad Christmas
Author: Gerry D / Anthony Caruso, Charlyn Lewis, Manny Torres