Here you’ll find all of the necessary information!
“The night before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New Yorkers gather to watch the famous giant helium parade balloons get inflated.
A tradition since 1927, the giant character balloons are slowly blown up and brought to life in the streets around the American Museum of Natural History. The enormous balloons take up two full city blocks. Nets and sandbags are used to keep the balloons from escaping during the night.
The action starts around 4pm on Thanksgiving Eve on 77th & 81st Streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Public viewing is from 3 pm until 8 pm. Regular attendees recommend arriving at about 5 pm when the balloons really start to take shape.”
Where: Central Park West and Columbus Avenue on 77th and 81st Streets
I can’t wait to see this balloon!
“A precocious boy finally learns to fly when Tim Burton’s B. debuts as a helium giant in the 85th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Specially created by Tim Burton for the Parade’s Blue Sky Gallery Series, B. will join five other works of contemporary art that have been transformed into flying wonders. Firmly rooted in Mr. Burton’s unique aesthetic, B. is a boy obsessed with flight, and has the scars to prove it.”
Check out Macy’s web site for more information about the parade itself – this year is the 85th Annual parade!
Here are a few photos that I took the one year that I went to see the actual parade in person. The company at which I was working was located on Broadway (back when the parade route was on Broadway – check here for the current parade route.) and I got to view the balloons at eye level from our window!! 🙂
Big Orange Fish:
Rich “Uncle” Pennybags:
From the good people at Wikipedia, here is a bit of the Thanksgiving Day Parade trivia:
“In 1920, the inaugural parade was staged by the store. Employees and professional entertainers marched from 145th Street in Harlem to Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street dressed in vibrant costumes. There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. At the end of that first parade, as has been the case with every parade since, Santa Claus was welcomed into Herald Square. At this first parade, however, the Jolly Old Elf was enthroned on the Macy’s balcony at the 34th Street store entrance, where he was then “crowned” “King of the Kiddies.” With an audience of over a quarter of a million people, the parade was such a success that Macy’s declared it would become an annual event.
At the finale of the 1928 parade, the balloons were released into the sky where they unexpectedly burst. The following year they were redesigned with safety valves to allow them to float for a few days. Address labels were sewn into them, so that whoever found and mailed back the discarded balloon received a gift from Macy’s.
The parade was suspended 1942–1944 during World War II, owing to the need for rubber and helium in the war effort. The parade resumed in 1945 using the route that it followed until 2008. The parade became a permanent part of American culture after being prominently featured in the 1947 film, Miracle on 34th Street, which shows actual footage of the 1946 festivities. The event was first broadcast on network television in 1948.”
Whether you get to see the balloons on Inflation Eve, live the morning of the parade, or on TV (on NBC, 9:00 AM, Thursday 11/25/11), I’m sure that you won’t be able to resist their charm.
Cheers to the Balloons – Hip Hip Hooray!!