Did you realize that sometimes entire towns throw parties? It's true! There are many reasons a town might want to celebrate. It could be an anniversary of an important historical event that happened in the town. Or it could be a special holiday, such as Memorial Day.
When an entire town throws a party, it often consists of people lining the street to watch marching bands, floats, groups of people walking and sometimes even large balloons. We call these celebrations parades!
Sometimes parades are so big that they're shown on national television. One of the most popular parades every year is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. It got started in 1924, which makes it one of the oldest Thanksgiving parades in the United States.
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is especially famous for the large helium-filled balloons that travel the parade route. From Snoopy to Mickey Mouse, the balloons usually reflect some of the most popular cartoon characters of the time.
Another popular parade that takes place every New Year's Day is the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. It is famous for its floats, which are made entirely of flowers! Have you ever watched the Tournament of Roses Parade? It's amazing what parade float designers can do with all sorts of different flowers.
If you're wondering why they're called parade “floats," it's believed to have come from the fact that the first floats actually did float! Parades used to be conducted along canals. Marchers who walked along the shore would tow decorated barges using ropes. Today, parade floats are usually pulled by motorized vehicles.