Star Trek’s James Kirk debuted in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with an iconic character.
In 1968, William Shatner showed up in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade dressed as his iconic Star Trek character, James T. Kirk. He can be seen riding in the Soap Box Derby float, sitting in a paper mache mug, that’s supposed to look bronzed.
It’s a pretty awesome moment for Star Trek fans and Thanksgiving fans. It was the first and only time that Kirk and Shatner would do the parade in person, and while that’s kind of sad, at least fans had this moment.
Yet, despite Kirk and Shatner’s big appearance that year, he wasn’t even the biggest name to debut that year in the parade itself. There was another iconic character, more synonymous with the holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas than Kirk or Shatner could ever hope to be. He’s a character who has had many appearances in the parade since and is a staple of the proceedings every time they’re held.
That’s right, Shatner and Kirk were upstaged in 1968 (and beyond) by the iconic Snoopy, of Peanuts fame.
Despite James Kirk debuting in 1968, the year belonged to Snoopy
In 1968, the iconic Snoopy from Charles Schultz’s Peanuts would be added to the parade for the first time ever. Snoopy, was part of the Peanuts comic strip and subsequent cartoon, which were wildly popular and very accurate to the comics’ source material. While most of the characters were beloved, none more so than the wise and stylish pup.
The character would join the parade for the first time in 1968 as “Flying Ace Snoopy”, according to Heavy.com, and was part of the next 47 Macy Thanksgiving Day Parades, until he was taken out of the rotation for 2016. Fan backlash commenced and for one reason or another, the character was brought back to the parade for the following year.
Snoopy has the most appearances of a character in the parade ever.