Ruth Gowitzke News Editor
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is an annual parade that has always been a treat for people watching in New York or at home. This parade shows a variety of different balloons of a variety of different characters such as Snoopy, Spongebob, and many more. In the past, there have been some issues with the balloons landing on people and some have even got injured from them. CNN wrote an article talking about the balloons and some history behind them. In fact, in 1997, as mentioned in this article, there was a Cat in the Hat Balloon that injured four people because of the strong force of the wind.
According to CNN, city regulations require that the balloons aren’t supposed to be flown when winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph. The gusts got close to that speed reaching 32 mph. Historically, as stated by the information in this article, there was only one parade where winds were too powerful for the balloons. This occurred in 1971, where there was “extreme wind.”
One of the balloons that was held low in the parade was a red Power Ranger balloon. One of its legs scraped the street and two workers had to carry a dangling hand to keep the balloon secure. This was also one of the longest balloons that the parade had to offer. By having the balloons lower to the ground, this allows the carriers to keep a better manage on the balloons because there is less wind pushing against it.
However, there was at least one balloon that did not complete the parade. This balloon was a Ronald McDonald balloon that was pulled from the parade because of a tear that it had gotten that deflated a leg and foot. However, it was not pulled out because of the danger it could bring to other parade goers.
Macy’s spokesman, Orlando Veras, said, “We pulled Ronald for aesthetic reasons, not due to any emergency or weather issue.”
Another balloon that did not make it through the parade was a balloon called “Love Flies Up to the Sky,” by an artist named Yayoi Kusama. This balloon, according to a retailer at the parade, suffered stress and tears during the overnight inflation efforts.
With past issues with the balloons there are always contingency plans that are put in place to make sure that everyone is safe.
If you would like to know more about other balloons that were featured at the parade and more about the parade in general, be sure to visit cnn.com to find more coverage on the event.