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Talking Points

How many balloons are in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

This year, there will 13 major helium balloons parading down 40 blocks of New York streets. They will include an updated Hello Kitty, Kermit the Frog and Buzz Lightyear. Snoopy, who has been in the parade for 36 years, will not be among them.

There also will be 13 novelty balloons, including a baseball, Earth and a candy cane, as well as two balloonicles -- the Kool-Aid guy and Aflac duck.

Macy's is the world's second-largest consumer of helium. The United States government is the first.

Why do Dallas and Detroit always play the Thanksgiving NFL games?

Although the NFL had games on Thanksgiving as far back as the 1920s, Detroit started the tradition in 1934, when owner G.A. Richards moved the team to Detroit from Ohio. He decided to play a game on Thanksgiving Day to drum up support for the Lions, booking the best team at the time -- the Chicago Bears -- and cut a deal with NBC to broadcast the game nationwide. It was a huge success.

When the NFL wanted to add a second game in 1966, Cowboys' Tex Schramm jumped at the chance. He negotiated a long-term commitment from the league for his Cowboys to host the annual game.

Are there any U.S. cities with Thanksgiving-themed names?

Four cities in the U.S. have the word "turkey" in their name: Turkey Creek, La., was the most populous in 2011, with 440 residents, followed by Turkey, Texas (424), Turkey, N.C. (295) and Turkey Creek, Ariz. (294), according to the Census Bureau. There are also 11 townships around the country with "turkey" in their names, including three in Kansas.

As for "cranberry," nine places have the traditional Turkey Day side dish in their name.

And 37 places have "Plymouth" in their name. Plymouth Rock was the landing site of the first pilgrims.

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By the staff of
The Washington Examiner