What year did a whiskey bottle walk in the Thanksgiving Day Parade?

A bit of Thanksgiving Day trivia for you, What year did a large red whiskey bottle walk in the Thanksgiving Day Parade?

The Answer is 1913, I’ve been watching the parade for years and I can’t remember ever seeing liquor or beer present in the parade but in 1913 it happened. Which according to Wikipedia predates the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which started in 1924, this must have been another Thanksgiving Day Parade that wasn’t an annual event.

The Whiskey bottle was a message, “Salvation Army Appeals to “Boozers”, the caption of this photos reads “Huge red whiskey bottle borne in Thanksgiving Day parade. It was followed by a ragged family and water wagon.”

New York Tribune whiskey in parade 11-26-13

Published in the New York Tribune, November 26, 1913

I don’t usually associate this sort of thing with the Salvation Army, I usually think of ringing bells and red kettles but they are a religious organization that believes in abstaining from alcohol use and supported prohibition so in the years leading up to prohibition it makes sense that they would send a message like this. It’s an interesting piece of history, most likely not the type of thing you’ll ever see again but something that should be remembered.

Don’t Abstain this Thanksgiving – unless that’s your thing – but do drink in moderation, your family should be ragged because it was a long day of eating turkey and pie, not because everyone drank too much.



Chad Lothian

About Chad Lothian

Chad Lothian lives in Old Town, Maine. He is a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer. Chad has travelled to brewpubs, breweries and brewfests all over New England.