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Carlo Klemm

Jean McFaddin, Who Made the Macy’s Parade What It Is, Dies at 75

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Carlo Klemm

Jean McFaddin, Who Made the Macy’s Parade What It Is, Dies at 75

April 18, 2018

By ROBERT D. McFADDEN- NY Times

 

Excerpt - Jean McFaddin, who as Macy’s events planner for 24 years created magical Thanksgiving Day parades in Manhattan, a children’s in-store Santaland at Christmastime, exquisite flower shows every spring and spectacular fireworks on the Fourth of July, died on Wednesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 75.

Susan Falk, Ms. McFaddin’s spouse, said the cause was cancer.

Friends and former associates sometimes said that Ms. McFaddin was able to see into the hearts of little children, like Edmund Gwenn and Maureen O’Hara in the classic 1947 movie “Miracle on 34th Street,” a holiday favorite about the childlike faith aroused by a department-store Santa Claus who claims to be the real thing.

****

On her watch, the parade had doubled in size to 8,000 marchers, balloons had jumped tenfold to 85 and spectators had swelled into the millions. Ms. McFaddin shared more than a dozen Emmy Awards with NBC for the parade telecasts, and in 1999 she was inducted into the International Festivals and Events Association Hall of Fame, the industry’s most prestigious honor.

After a night’s rest, she began her next project — Santaland. From the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, 300,000 children and parents visited Macy’s eighth-floor setting for the rites of seeing Santa. They received tickets for the North Pole Express, saw an enchanted forest, chatted with elves who told stories of Santa’s workshop, and finally met St. Nick.

****

 

In her later years, Ms. McFaddin continued to produce events for corporations, civic groups and charities like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

But she had officially retired in April 2001, a few weeks after her last flower show. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, at a City Hall news conference, proclaimed “Jean McFaddin Day in the City of New York.”

And she received a handwritten note from Maureen O’Hara. “Your wonderful contributions to Macy’s, to New York City and to womanhood will never be forgotten,” it said, and signed off, “from one Parade Lady to another.”

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SCSanta

:candles:Rest in Peace

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Santa Bruce Geron

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Santa Bill Reiller

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