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Macy's Thanksgiving Parade balloons: Where to see them inflate and balloon history facts
Starting this afternoon and on into tonight the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade character balloons will be inflated at Central Park West and Columbus Avenue on 77th and 81st Streets. The public is able to watch the process between 3:00 and 10:00 p.m. From what I've read, arrive closer to the end to get the balloons' full effects.
The balloons, that take trained volunteers to safely maneuver them along the parade route without injuring parade goers or damaging buildings, have been a Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition since 1927. Here are 10 balloon history facts from the parade history page of the Macy's website and at the website of The Band of Blue.
Also, I found a detailed video of the balloons being inflated. The video gives a clear idea about just how big these balloons are and the hubbub that is involved in the process of making them parade worthy. My favorite spot is of the police officer getting another officer to take her picture in front of one of them.
- After the first parade in 1927, the balloons were released.
- When the balloons reached the skyline they burst with a bang.
- In 1928, the balloons were redesigned to last for several days. They also had labels on them so people who found them could return them for a reward.
- Mickey Mouse first appeared in the parade in 1934 and was the parade's first joint effort with Walt Disney Productions.
- Between 1942 and 1944, balloons were deflated and given to the war effort. Their rubber was needed.
- In 1957, it rained so much that Popeye's hat filled with water and kept dumping water on parade-goers.
- In 1958, due to a helium shortage, balloons were inflated with air and hung from cranes and pulled.
- In 2005, the M &Ms balloon crashed into a light post during the parade. The falling debris injured two sisters.
- Spider man is 78 feet long making this balloon the longest of them.
- Snoopy is the character who has appeared in various forms the most--six in all.