Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation Celebration Returns on Upper West


After being forced to shrink back to a TV-only audience last year due to the pandemic, the 95th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be returning in person on Thursday.

Just on Upper West Side, where the gigantic balloons sprang to life, arrangements were beginning on Wednesday.

The balloon inflation is an awesome chance to catch a sneak view before the masses rush the parade route, as CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge observed.

On Wednesday, from noon to 6 p.m., the New York City tradition was available to the public at 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue.

This year’s main change is that all participants over the age of 12 must be vaccinated and wear a mask.

Four new floats and six new balloons have been added to Macy’s, including “Baby Yoda.” There will also be classics such as “Snoopy” and “Ronald McDonald,” as well as “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Pillsbury Doughboy,” “Papa Smurf,” and more.

There are a total of 15 enormous character balloons, 36 inflatables, 28 floats, 800 clowns, 8,000 marchers, nine performing groups, and Santa Claus.

Precision and safety go hand in hand for balloon operators.

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“Training is required for all of our balloon teams. We conduct both field and classroom training sessions. We make certain that everyone understands how to fly the balloons. “Various wind conditions imply different flying heights,” said Kathleen Wright, the production director.

This event, spectators said Duddridge, is what gets them in the holiday mood.

“This is my first time, and I’ve wanted to see New York for who knows how long. “Finally, I get to see what I see on TV in person,” one partygoer said.

Jeff Krencik of Tampa, Florida, prepared a once-in-a-lifetime surprise for his three children.

“They’re massive, and the city’s excitement is palpable. The folks are wonderful. It’s nothing like watching them on TV to see them in person,” Krencik remarked.

“It’s incredible.” It’s almost as though they’re coming to life. It’s exciting to see what the procession will entail,” Emily Hoffmann remarked.

The procession begins at 9 a.m. on Thursday at 77th Street and Central Park West. Marchers march through Columbus Circle, through Central Park South, down Sixth Avenue to 34th Street and Seventh Avenue, and finally to Macy’s Herald Square.

The road has poor visibility and is well guarded. Expect to see a large number of police officers in the crowd. Large luggage, backpacks, umbrellas, and strollers must be left at home by observers.

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