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McDonald's is an American fast-food company, founded in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, United States. They rechristened their business as a hamburger stand, and later turned the company into a franchise, with the Golden Arches logo being introduced in 1953 at a location in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1955, Ray Kroc, a businessman, joined the company as a franchise agent and proceeded to purchase the chain from the McDonald brothers. McDonald's had its original headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, but moved its global headquarters to Chicago in early 2018.

History with the Macy's Parade

Floats

McDonald's (1966)

The first collaboration between the world's largest store and world's largest restaurant came in 1966, in the form of a brand-new float with an unknown title. It was most likely modeled after McDonaldLand, the place where Ronald and his friends lived and behind sat the restaurant itself, with the famous golden arches. Not much is known about this float, other than it being recycled from the Sound of Music float from 1964. This float only appeared in 1966 and was disposed of shortly afterwards.

McDonald's Gazebo (1977)

A decade later, in 1977, McDonald's would sponsor yet another float, this time in the likeness of a Gazebo. Like the previous float, not much is known about it. This float lasted longer than the 1966 float but was retired in 1979, and like its predecessor, was disposed of.

Big Red Shoe Car (2000)

Main Article: Big Red Shoe Car

Ronald would also star in a car in the shape of his signature shoes, debuting in 2000. Originally, his friends such as Grimace, Birdie, and the Hamburgler joined him, but after McDonaldLand saw its demise, the McKids would take their place, and they still do today. Occasionally, Ronald would stand up on the car and perform tricks like juggling bowling pins.

McDonald's All-American Marching Band

Main article: McDonald's All-American Marching Band

McDonald's also had a band, which first played in 1967. Not much is known about them, but they became a long-runner in the parade, appearing up until 1990, most likely due to the balloon retiring as well that year.

Ronald McDonald Balloon

Main Article: Ronald McDonald

Like any other popular character, Ronald McDonald would also get his own giant helium balloon. It first flew in 1987 and showed him taking a clumsy tumble with three smaller party balloons in his hand. It appeared until 1990, but made a brief comeback in 1993, only to retire after 1994. Then in 2000, an all-new version was made, showing him in his traditional attire. He made subsequent appearances until 2008 when it was retired due to the design starting to become outdated. The following year, he got yet another balloon, where he is depicted wearing ice skates and skating down the parade route. He made appearances until 2014 when he got replaced once again in 2015 with his current balloon. Here, he is shown in a circus-like outfit and marching down the streets of Manhattan. In 2019, the balloon had it's left leg torn at the start of the parade and was forced to leave the route around the time he made it to 42nd Street, making this the first time since 2005 where a balloon had to be removed. Despite this, he is expected to return in 2020 with a repaired leg.

Guest Stars

Below, you will find a list of every performer/celebrity that has performed/appeared on the float.

  • 1966 - ????
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