Katie Couric’s Emotional Connection to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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On NBC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade special, which celebrated 90 years of floats, balloons, and fun, former parade host Katie Couric reflected on why the annual tradition means so much to her.

“One of my fondest memories of my dad was the year after my husband died in 1998,” Couric said. “My dad came with me to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was just so sweet of my dad to come to New York from Virginia to be with me on a day that he knew was gonna be pretty tough. And now that I’ve lost my dad, that was just really meaningful for me.”

On a much lighter note, Couric talked about everyone’s favorite part of the parade.

“For every kid watching at home, they may love the floats. They may love the clowns. They may love the balloons, but the pièce de résistance, of course, is Santa at the end of the parade,” Couric said. “And that, of course, I think, gets everyone excited for Christmas.”

Parade co-host Matt Lauer also had some nice things to say about Santa.

“Santa is innocence and joy and tradition and rosy cheeks and reindeer and kids smiling,” Lauer said. “It’s all those things wrapped up in one.”

Whether or not Santa is your favorite part, Couric may have captured the true meaning of the parade.

“There aren’t that many annual rituals that we can all share and that make us really feel like a community,” Couric said. “And I think the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of those.”

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