Macy’s Great American Elf Adventure begins celebrating 85 years of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

“Macy’s Great American Elf Adventure is a fantastic way to kick-off our 85th Anniversary celebrations,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Since 1947, the iconic Macy’s elf balloons have been fan favorites and for generations have served as an emblem of the Macy’s Parade. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a key element of America’s favorite parade is one that aspiring artists should not miss. We can’t wait to see all the inspired creations and look forward to the winning design joining the rest of the Macy’s elf family in the Parade this year.”

So what is Macy’s Great American Elf Adventure? Well, is seems that Macy’s existing Parade Elves have been dispatched across the U.S. as well as in Guam and Puerto Rico, to celebrate the upcoming 85th Anniversary of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®. In their excitement, the elves left Santa’s Workshop in the middle of summer and weren’t quite ready for their Parade debut. As a result, well, they’re a little colorless. Which is great news for anyone who has ever dreamed of becoming a balloonatic as Macy’s Parade balloon designers are called.

Beginning 9 August, 2011, artists and amateur balloonatics need to search out any of the more than 10,000 rambunctious elves in need of a paint job at Macy’s stores nationwide. Once an elf has been spotted, artists can let their imagination run wild as they transform the elves from understudy to a multicolored creation of wonder and star of the show. Would-be balloonatics have until 24 August, 2011 to enter their creation at for the chance to win a trip for four to New York City and see it soar to new heights in the legendary holiday extravaganza.

Macy's Elves
Macy's Elves (image courtesy of Macy's)

To find Macy’s magical elves in Macy’s Great American Elf Adventure, look for clues on Macy’s Facebook page and via Twitter @Macyservents or #Macyself. Each day between 9 and 24 August, Macy’s will post a clue and a password that will help reveal the location of the elves. The daily clue and password can also be retrieved by texting  ELF to MACYS (62297). Once would-be-balloonatics have deduced where the elves have taken shelter that day they must tell a department sales associate the daily password to receive their coveted fae model.

In addition to sheltering colorless elves in Macy’s stores across the U.S., 10 cities will host Macy’s Elf-Apolooza as a few high-spirited gnomes take a road-trip across the country. Starting from New York City and Jackson, MS, the elves and some helpers will be bringing fun-filled family events to Los Angeles, Omaha, Detroit, Little Rock, Greenville, Des Moines, El Paso and Anchorage.

The magic really begins once the artists get their new elf friend home. Fans are asked to let their imagination take flight and design what could be the newest member of the Parade elf contingent. Once their masterpiece is complete, the amateur balloonatic should submit detailed front and back photos of their creation to Macy’s via Facebook. To enter, participants will need to “like” Macy’s on Facebook and the download the “Elf” application. Entries must include the identification serial number found on the packaging containing the elf (all real Macy’s elves will have one) and upload their photo and complete application by Wednesday, 24 August at 11:59:59 PM ET.

A judging panel from Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group will narrow the entries down to the Top 85. These 85 entries will be posted to Macy’s Facebook page on Tuesday, 30 August for fans and friends to begin voting for their favorite elf. The elf garnering the most votes as of Tuesday, 6 September, 2011 will be announced in mid-September. The winning design will then be transformed into a helium wonder by the magicians of Macy’s Parade Studio. In addition the winning artist and newest balloonatic, accompanied by three friends or family members will receive a trip to New York City to see the Parade live and enjoy their elf’s maiden flight.

Complete entry rules and regulations for Macy’s Great American Elf Adventure are available in-store or by visiting

The 85th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs on Thursday, 24 November, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in all time zones on NBC-TV. Check your local listing for station information.