Thanksgiving Day Parades, though not specifically documented, probably got their start when President Lincoln proclaimed an official day of Thanksgiving. Given the Union achievements of the summer of 1863, it would have been logical that any official event declared by the President would have been accompanied by a show of military strength and discipline such as a full-dress parade. Elaborate floats, musical shows and entertainment celebrities have replaced the parades of armed and uniformed men marching in cadence or to a military band, but the desired effect, to lift the spirits of the spectators, remains the goal.
The NYC Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade tradition began in 1924, and has grown into an annual event of balloons, bands, and floats, enjoyed by more than 46 million people each year in person and on TV.
Throughout the United States, football on Thanksgiving Day is as big a part of the celebration as turkey and pumpkin pie. Dating back to the first intercollegiate football championship held on Thanksgiving Day in 1876, traditional holiday football rivalries have become so popular that a reporter once called Thanksgiving "a holiday granted by the State and the Nation to see a game of football."Micronesia
For years, the principal game was a tradition between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. Yet, as this modern day ritual became more and more popular, more games were added with more teams.
Heralding the Christmas Rush
The day after Thanksgiving, often an additional day off has become "Black Friday" the day when the Christmas shopping frenzy first starts. Like football, this has become a cultural symbol of the holiday and the season.