It has been nearly 100 years since Macy’s launched its Thanksgiving Day Parade outside the department store’s flagship Herald Square location in 1924. Since then, it has become the world’s largest parade, and has delighted untold millions since NBC began to broadcast the event in 1952. For many families, it has become an annual tradition to watch the parade as they prepare their Thanksgiving feasts, the official unofficial kickoff to the holiday season. While many elements make the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade special, one of the most important are the giant balloons featuring iconic characters that have been a hallmark of the event since the late 1920s. Now, as the parade nears its centennial, the Great Pop Culture Debate wants to determine: what IS the Best Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon of all time?

Join host Eric Rezsnyak and GPCD panelists Andrea Guerrero, Joelle Boedecker, and Karissa Kloss as they discuss 16 of the most iconic balloons from Macy’s Parade history.

Did your favorite not make the bracket? Become a Patreon supporter of the podcast and see if we discussed it in our warm-up devoted to our favorite balloons that just missed out on the competition.

The Round 1 match-ups are:

Match-Up 1: Snoopy vs. Hello Kitty

Match-Up 2: Woody Woodpecker vs. Bullwinkle

Match-Up 3: Clifford the Big Red Dog vs. Spider-Man

Match-Up 4: Super Grover vs. Mickey Mouse

Match-Up 5: Kermit the Frog vs. Barney

Match-Up 6: SpongeBob Squarepants vs. Garfield

Match-Up 7: Charlie Brown vs. Smokey Bear

Match-Up 8: Big Bird vs. Pikachu

Want to play along at home?

Download the listener bracket and see if your picks match up with ours!

Looking for more related content?

Check out these other episodes from Great Pop Culture Debate:

Best Holiday Movie

Best Holiday TV Special

Best Holiday Episode of a TV Series

Also make sure to check out Eric Rezsnyak’s Top 10 List of Macy’s Parade Fails.

Have a say in future episodes!

Finally, if you want to have a say in what episodes we tackle next, vote in our Topic Polls! And we would love to have you pick your faves in the polls currently open for your votes!

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Host: Eric Rezsnyak

Panel: Andrea Guerrero, Joelle Boedecker, Karissa Kloss

Producer: Bob Erlenback

Editor: Jeffery Perry

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