Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade enjoys the title for the nation’s most famous Thanksgiving parade, but North Carolina‘s most well-loved Thanksgiving Parade is surely Carolinas’ Carrousel. Our November Artifacts of the Month are two commemorative Carrousel buttons.
Carolinas’ Carrousel began in 1947 and quickly attained big-deal status. In 1950, celebrity cowboy Hopalong Cassidy led the parade, which drew a record crowd of 500,000 attendees.
The celebration has been held every year since its inception and is televised regionally. When it nearly folded in 2013, the company Novant Health rescued it, renaming it the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day parade (and leaving us to perpetually wonder: What was with the extra “r” in “Carrousel”?)
The parade remains as an annual holiday tradition, with floats, balloons, celebrity performances, and an annual scholarship competition. (Would you fault us for bragging if we mentioned that one of the NCC Gallery’s former student employees won 5th place in the 2010 competition?)
As we make our annual gratitude list in honor of Thanksgiving, we’ll certainly include blog contributor and ephemera collector Lew Powell. Thanks, Lew, for donating these fantastic buttons (and so many others).