Santa Claus, alternatively named Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle, is a legendary figure of Western culture and international symbol of Christmas. He is commonly depicted as a portly, joyous old man in a red-and-white outfit who brings gifts to the homes of well-behaved children and children at heart, as determined by lists of people throughout the world whom he categorizes according to their conduct. He delivers presents and candy to every well-behaved person in the world, and coal to all those who have misbehaved, on the night of Christmas Eve; he accomplishes this feat with the aid of his elves at the North Pole, and a sleigh pulled by eight flying reindeer.
History in Macy's Parade
Santa Claus has generally appeared at the end of every Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since the event's introduction in 1924, with his arrival into Herald Square marking the start of the Christmas and holiday season. At the end of the first parade, the Jolly Old Elf was enthroned on the balcony at the entrance to the Macy's store on 34th Street, where he was crowned "King of the Kiddies." The only Macy's Parade that Santa has not ended is the tenth parade, from 1933, which he instead led.
In addition to his live appearances at the conclusion of the parade, he was briefly given a balloon likeness which debuted in 1939. The balloon made subsequent appearances in 1940 and 1941. This balloon collapsed in 1941, due to it rapidly losing air and helium. In 2009 a novelty balloon created by Robin Hall called Big Man Santa debuted and appeared in the Macy's Holiday Parade in Universal Studios Florida until 2013, when a clone of the balloon was created, most likely due to the aging of the balloon. It would make consecutive appearances until 2016 when it was retired. The novelty balloon now resides at the Parade Studio as of 2017.
- In 1941, he was damaged in one part of the route, and collapsed to the ground.