Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Reading comprehension activity
1.Pre-reading segment
Match the photos to the terms below.


2.Marching band



Can you explain what they are? Look up any words in a dictionary.

2.Reading segment
Read the text below and answer the questions that follow.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual event held in New York City, dating from 1924. It is presented by the chain store Macy's on Thanksgiving Day and it lasts about three hours.

In the 1920s, many of Macy's department store employees were first-generation immigrants. Proud of their new American heritage, they wanted to celebrate with the type of festival their parents had loved in Europe.

Originally, employees and professional entertainers marched from Harlem to Macy's flagship store on 34th Street, dressed in vibrant costumes. There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. Every parade concluded, and still does, with the arrival of Santa Claus to ring in the Christmas and holiday season.

In 1927, giant balloons were introduced to replace live animals. The first character that year was Felix the Cat. This tradition of huge helium characters has been kept ever since and it is a trademark of the parade. 

Through the 1930s, the Parade continued to grow, with crowds of over 1 million and the annual festivities were broadcast on local New York radio. In the 40’s it was suspended during World War II, owing to the need for rubber and helium in the war effort.  Its first broadcast on network television was in 1948.

Nowadays, in addition to the well-known balloons and floats, the parade also features live music and other performances. College and high school marching bands from across the country participate, and the television broadcasts shows by famous singers and bands. The Radio City Rockettes are a classic performance as well, as are cheerleaders from various high schools across the country and cast members from Broadway shows.   

This national event has nowadays more than 44 million people watching it on television each year. This is part of the morning routine and preparation for the day ahead, which will include the cooking of the turkey, welcoming family and friends, and the three National Football League games played during the holiday. A few American classics.

Choose the best option to complete the statements.

1)The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was in...  (a) 1920’s  (b) 1924  (c) 1927

2)The parade takes place... (a) in the morning  (b) in the afternoon  (c) in the evening  ...for approximately  (a) two  (b)three  (c)four  hours.

3)The parade originated to (a)promote sales (b)start the Christmas season  (c)  celebrate the American culture.

4)At the end of each parade appears... (a)a giant ballon figure  (b)Santa Claus  (c)a big band.

5)Zoo animals... (a)appear occasionally  (b)appear every decade at a special event  (c)appeared at the end of the 20’s.

6)The parade... (a)was never cancelled  (b)was cancelled once  (c)was cancelled during World War I.

7)Some of the performers... (a)come from different parts the cuntry  (b)are store owners and actors  (c)wear football clothes and gear.

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