Thanksgiving may be America’s most beloved tradition, but following close behind is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which bobs its way through the city each year before everyone settles down to turkey and sprouts. I’ll be in the office for Thanksgiving but I didn’t want to miss out entirely – so tonight I headed to another famed tradition: watching the inflation of 16 massive helium balloons that are the stars of the show.
Every year, the balloons – from Hello Kitty and Kermit to Snoopy and Papa Smurf – are blown up behind the Natural History Museum the day before the parade. From 3pm until 10pm, you can see them ahead of their big performance.
Ryan and I headed there after work so most of the inflating had already been completed. But it was still amazing to see the size of the floats, from Elf on the Shelf, who was the equivalent of a five-storey building, SpongeBob Squarepants, who was the width of seven taxis, and Buzz Lightyear, who will need 90 handlers as he soars through the streets.
Unfortunately Ryan and I only had patience to see half of them. The crowds were ridiculous and we didn’t fancy being penned in with hundreds of other people to queue for ages to see the other half. But I was satisfied with the ones we’d seen – and I liked the idea that I will be surprised by the others.
Well – maybe. If the balloons actually fly.
Right now, organizers don’t know if the balloons will be part of the parade due to the gusts of wind that are expected to batter the city tomorrow. So despite the crowds, I’m glad we made the visit so that we definitely saw them, either way.