Get It. Design It. Parade It. Macy’s Great American Elf Adventure…

Macy’s magical elves are appearing by the thousands in cities across the country in celebration of the upcoming 85th Anniversary of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®. However, due to a whimsical twist of fate, in their jubilation and rush to spread the word on this wondrous milestone of America’s Parade, the elves left Santa’s workshop without a speck of color.  Once they realized their error, the elves took refuge at various locations across the country and now wait for some holiday help to arrive from Parade fans in all 50 states, as well as Guam and Puerto Rico. To rectify this magical mishap, Macy’s Great American Elf Adventure kicks off on Tuesday, August 9th. Find one of Macy’s Parade’s missing elves, give it a makeover and you could see your winning elf design transformed into a Macy’s Parade Balloon, as it soars high on Thanksgiving Day in front of over 3.5 million live spectators and more than 50 million television viewers nationwide.

“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 help 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.”

To become a Macy’s Parade balloonatic (a.k.a. Macy’s Parade balloon designers) and help the stranded little ones make it to the Parade, first you must find an elf and let your imagination take over as you paint and transform it from a colorless gnome, into a multicolor creation of wonder.


Over 10,000 of Macy’s Parade’s ever rambunctious elves have magically taken residence at Macy’s stores nationwide and at other locations in select cities. To find one, look for clues on Macy’s Facebook page ( and via Twitter @macysevents or #macyself.  Each day from August 9th – August 24th, Macy’s will post a clue and password that will help reveal the location of elves at 669 Macy’s stores across the country or at other special locales. For the clever adventurer, these clues will point to various in-store departments where elves have found shelter. Once elf hunters have deduced the location, they must tell a department sales associate the daily password to receive their coveted sprite. The daily clue and password can also be received by texting* ELF to MACYS (62297). A helpful hint for elf hunters is to check Macy’s Facebook page often to see if there are any elves left to be rescued at their nearest Macy’s store.

In addition to the mass elf invasion at stores nationwide, 10 cities will get in on the elfin’ fun when they host Macy’s Elf-Apolooza, a fun-filled event for the whole family. A few of the more high-spirited gnomes decided that a road trip across the country to visit fans would be a good way to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving Day milestone. Starting on August 9 in New York City and Jackson, MS, the elves and some helpers will hit the road and visit Los Angeles (August 11); Omaha, NE (August 12); Detroit, MI (August 13); Little Rock, AR (August 14); Greenville, SC (August 17); Des Moines, IA (August 18);  El Paso, TX (August 19); and Anchorage, AK (August 20). At Macy’s Elf-Apolooza, elves will be distributed to fans from a custom designed mobile unit, along with Macy’s Parade items and other giveaways.


After the hunt is over, and a budding Macy’s Parade artist has one of the coveted elves, it’s time for the magic to begin. With splashes of color, fans are asked to let their imagination take flight and design what could be the newest member of the Parade elf family that will join C.J., Kit, and Charlie Elf in the holiday spectacular. Once the masterpiece is complete, the artist should submit a detailed front and back photo of their creation. To enter the design, participants will need to “Like” Macy’s on Facebook and then proceed to 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/complete application by Wednesday, August 24 at 11:59:59 PM ET.


From the received entries, a judging panel from Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group will narrow down the entries to the Top 85. These entries will be posted on Macy’s Facebook page on Tuesday, August 30th for fans/friends to begin casting votes on their favorite. The Elf design with the most votes as of Tuesday, September 6th at 11:59:59 PM ET, will be announced in mid-September.  From here, the design will be transformed into a helium wonder by the magicians of Macy’s Parade Studio. Besides designing the next elf balloon, the winning artist and three guests will receive a trip to New York City to see the Parade live and enjoy their elf’s maiden flight in the holiday spectacular.

The 85th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs on Thursday, November 24, 2011 from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M., in all time zones on NBC-TV.

For the complete entry rules/regulations for Macy’s Great American Elf Adventure, are available in-store or by visiting

*Standard messaging and data rates may apply.

About the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
With more than 50 million viewers across the country and more than 3.5 million spectators that line up along the streets of New York City each year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a national icon that has grown into a world-famous holiday event.  For more than 80 years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has marked the official start of the holiday season.  Growing in size and scale, the Parade proudly marches down a more than 2-mile route in New York City with more than 8,000 participants in tow including Macy’s employees, their families, celebrities, athletes, clowns and dance groups spreading holiday cheer.  The Parade also features America’s best marching bands, fabulous floats and Macy’s signature giant helium character balloons.  For more information on the Macy’s Parade please visit or call the Parade hotline at (212) 494-4495.
via Macy’s Press Release

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