For years I have wanted to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons inflation but never made it.
This year I decided to be a dictator and announced earlier in the year that we, the whole family, were having Thanksgiving in New York City and we are attending the inflating of the balloons. Giving family members sufficient time to schedule vacation days and secure airline tickets.
Arrived at 79th Street and Columbus Avenue at around 3:30 p.m on Wednesday, 11/21. A crowd had already assembled but it was not too bad, still could move about easily. An hour later it was a different story, could hardly move about.
When we arrived I was surprised to see most of balloons have been inflated except for Julius the Monkey and Kung Fu Panda. We were able to secure a spot to see the unrolling of Kung Fu Panda. Fascinating. It was very well orchestrated and every little detail was attended to. Amazing to see how smoothly the whole process was executed.
It takes 90 minutes to inflate one of the giant balloons so we decided to view the other balloons then go back to take photos of the inflated panda.
Unfortunately it soon got very crowded and was impossible to return to the site of Kung Fu Panda (we would be going against traffic).
No photo of the face down, netted, sandbagged and anchored inflated panda. But below are photos of the fully inflated Kung Fu Panda at the parade.
At the end of the parade, Kung Fu Panda will be deflated; carted back to Macy’s Parade Studio in New Jersey; repaired, cleaned, folded, rolled, wrapped and returned to his crate. He will hibernate at Macy’s balloons storage facility in NJ until next year’s parade.
Facts about Kung Fu Panda
His name is Po
He is 42-feet tall, 46-feet long, and 34-feet wide
Made with more than ½ mile of fabric
Covered with 17 gallons of paint
Requires 16,000 cubic feet of helium to fully inflate
It was a lovely and memorable family get together. The weather was just perfect (sunny, calm and slightly above normal) during our 3-day stay in NYC.
I would do this back stage event again as a day trip (do-able on Metro North train from Poughkeepsie) and get to the site early to observe the very beginning. Imagine what an awesome sight and experience it would be to see the flat balloons, one by one, slowly transforming into various characters.
The biggest block party and a magical event indeed!!!!!
All the photos above were taken by my daughter, Kathy. Thank you, Kathy, for sharing.
To be continued tomorrow
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