Do you like to go to parties? Of course you do! Who doesn’t? Whether it’s a birthday party or a Super Bowl party, it’s always fun to get together with a group of friends.

Did you realize that sometimes entire towns throw parties? It’s true! There are many reasons a town might want to celebrate. It could be an anniversary of an important historical event that happened in the town. Or it could be a special holiday, such as Memorial Day.

When an entire town throws a party, it often consists of people lining the street to watch marching bands, floats, groups of people walking and sometimes even large balloons. We call these celebrations parades!

Have you ever been to a parade? What was your favorite part? Do you like the marching bands? What about the parade floats? It can be so much fun to celebrate with a large group of people at a parade.

Sometimes parades are so big that they’re shown on national television. One of the most popular parades every year is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. It got started in 1924, which makes it one of the oldest Thanksgiving parades in the United States.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is especially famous for the large helium-filled balloons that travel the parade route. From Snoopy to Mickey Mouse, the balloons usually reflect some of the most popular cartoon characters of the time.

Another popular parade that takes place every New Year’s Day is the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. It is famous for its floats, which are made entirely of flowers! Have you ever watched the Tournament of Roses Parade? It’s amazing what parade float designers can do with all sorts of different flowers.

If you’re wondering why they’re called parade “floats,” it’s believed to have come from the fact that the first floats actually did float! Parades used to be conducted along canals. Marchers who walked along the shore would tow decorated barges using ropes. Today, parade floats are usually pulled by motorized vehicles.


32 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (7 votes, avg. 4.71 out of 5)
  1. I was very close to guess today’s wonder. I loved today’s wonder! :D I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is that Can dogs do jumping jacks?

    Since today is Memorial day, I can leave another comment on Wonderopolis.

    I won’t be leaving another comment on Wonderopolis until Friday, June 1, 2012.

    Goodbye, Wonderopolis until Friday, June 1, 2012! :)

    PS, 1st comment!


    • We really like your weekend comments, TJ, and are glad we got an extra chance to hear from you this weekend! Thanks for being the very first Wonder Friend to check out today’s Wonder and leave us a message! YOU ROCK! :-)

  2. I knew it was about parades. I have been in many parades. I love that in videos you put it in fast motion! I think tomorrow’s wonder is about dog shows.

    • It’s GREAT that you enjoyed the video for today’s Wonder, AJ! Thanks so much for letting us know! We think it’s really cool that you have been in lots of parades…parades are AWESOME! :-)

  3. Happy Memorial Day. I love parades.
    I was invited to be in the parade.

    Here is a Memorial Day story: we all should say thank you to my grandfather was in the war. They have one part were you can get cancer.
    My grandfather did not even know he got cancer he went to the doctors they said he had it and they would have to give him sugary to get the cancer out. They did, now he has a big gap in his arm covered up with skin and he always freaks out my mom.

    • Thank you for sharing your Memorial Day story about your grandfather, Sleeps12. We’re really sorry he got cancer, and we hope he is healed up and doing better now! Thanks for spending part of your day with us here in Wonderopolis. We appreciate your comment! :-)

  4. I knew today’s WONDER was about parades!!!!
    I think tomorrow’s WONDER is about…I don’t
    know, something with dogs!!!!!
    Did you ever see a dog do a FLIP?????????????
    I did, on America’s Got Talent!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Way to go, Rachel! Parades are AWESOME to WONDER about, aren’t they? We haven’t seen a dog do a flip before…how cool that you got to see one on television! Have a WONDERful day! :-)

    • We bet your parade floats look AMAZING, Online Free Spanish friends! We hope you’ll share a picture of them with us on Twitter! We think parades are very exciting, too! :-)

    • We like that guess a lot, Adam! We can’t wait to visit Wonderopolis again tomorrow morning to see if your guess is correct! :-)

    • That’s OK, Wonder Girl! Guessing is a LOT of fun, but we think learning something new each and every day in Wonderopolis is even MORE FUN! We like your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder, too! We think learning how to take care of dogs would be something cool to WONDER about! :-)

    • Way to go, Rahul! We’re proud of you! We hope you are enjoying your day…THANKS for being a GREAT Wonder Friend! :-)

    • That sounds like a SUPER COOL parade costume, Zac! We think it would be SO MUCH FUN to be in a parade. They are awesome to watch, so we bet they’d be awesome to be a part of, too! :-)

    • Thanks for letting us know what you thought about today’s Wonder, fefe! We’re happy you stopped by Wonderopolis and left us a comment! :-)

    • We think parades are SUPER, too, Nikki! Thank you for hanging out in Wonderopolis with us today! We think that ROCKS! :-)

    • That’s really awesome that you wished everyone in Wonderopolis a happy Memorial Day, Wonder Girl! We hope you had a WONDERful day yourself! :-)

  5. I love you guys. You’re so cool, I never miss a wonder, and by the way, cool wonder of today. I hope tomorrow is about dog shows.

    • Thanks for leaving us such an AWESOME comment, Wonder Boy! It makes us super happy to hear that you visit Wonderopolis every day! We like your idea for a future Wonder about dog shows, too…it’s GREAT! :-)

  6. I think that tomorrow’s wonder of the day is going to be about if pets really need exercise. I don’t know, but I like this wonder of the day.

    • That’s a really great guess about the next Wonder of the Day®, Cassidy! We WONDER if your guess is correct? We can’t wait to see! Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis today! :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Do you love a parade?
  • What famous parade takes place each Thanksgiving in New York City?
  • Why are they called parade “floats”?


Wonder Gallery

boy watching parade_shutterstock_31003978Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to make your very own parade float? No, you don’t need your own barge or thousands of flowers. All you need is a cardboard box or a shoebox and a little imagination.

OK…make that A LOT of imagination. You’re going to create your own miniature parade float craft using the instructions below. Check out both links and choose whichever version suits you better.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to your parade float. What do you want it to celebrate? Your favorite hobby? Your hometown? A hero of yours? It can take on any theme you want!

When you’re finished, be sure to share your parade float with your Wonder Friends by posting a picture of it on Facebook. We can’t wait to see what you make!


Still Wondering

Check out EDSITEment!’s Presidential Inaugurations: A Capital Parade on a Cold Winter’s Day collection to learn more about the U.S. presidential inauguration and traditions like the inauguration parade.


Wonder What’s Next?

Can dogs do jumping jacks? That question may or may not be answered tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Upload a Photo or Paste the URL of a YouTube or SchoolTube Video.