Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Inflating the Balloons

A tradition since 1927, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade giant character balloons are inflated and brought to life on Thanksgiving Eve on 2 carpeted city blocks surrounding the American Museum of Natural History (77th Street and 81st Street, between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West).

This behind-the-scene event is open to the public and, best of all, it is free.

                                          List of balloons on 77th Street

First set of balloons as you approach 77th Street
All the balloons are facing Central Park

Aflac Duck

Rex the Happy Dragon and Kool Aid Man

Harold the Fireman
Most of the balloons are inflated face down with head pointing towards Central Park

Kermit the Frog
Balloons are netted and anchored with sandbags to prevent them from escaping during the night (sandbags and carpet are coordinated)

Chloe the Holiday Clown

List of balloons on 81st Street

Sonic the Hedgehog

Buzz Lightyear

Ronald McDonald

Pillsbury Doughboy
Sandbags and carpet are coordinated

The Elf Family

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation Facts
Each balloon has to be unfolded, spread out and blown up
Each balloon is made up of many chambers that must be inflated in a certain order
It takes 90 minutes to inflate each giant balloon

More photos (all the above) by my daughter, Kathy. Thanks again Kathy for sharing.

Coming tomorrow – Parade photos

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

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About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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28 Responses to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Inflating the Balloons

  1. Phyllis Smith says:

    So much fun. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing

  2. Kim says:

    I’ve enjoyed the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade my whole life, thanks for the close up look at some of my favorite balloons. ( I wish they would go back to watching the parade on TV and stop with the interviews and singers in stage settings)

  3. Haha so many good choices 😀
    Love this parade!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  4. My son was super excited to see buzz lightyear there!
    Thank you for sharing

  5. Norma, this is SO cool! Thank you!!

  6. Kristy says:

    These are fantastic Norma! So fun! I always knew the balloons were big, but your pictures really give me a perspective. Miss A is again very excited – especially for Kermit and the hedgehog. 😉

  7. Hotly Spiced says:

    They really are huge balloons. I had no idea it would take so long to blow them up. Good thing they don’t have to do it by hand!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      They are HUGE, as I said to Kristy, I think some are bigger than the apartment I had in NYC. Now you got me wondering how long it would take to blow one up manually?

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    This is so awesome, Norma! Easy to see why you were so eager to see the “event.” Little kids would love to see the balloons float along the parade route but for those a bit older, seeing the balloons inflated would be so cool. And I consider myself a member of the second group. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Hope you have the opportunity to attend the “event”, yes it is AWESOME. Drop me aa note if you ever make it to NYC. Stop by tomorrow for the rest of the story.

  9. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great post, thank you, I never have it much thought, but it’s quite a production! I love Kermit. Looks like a nice day too.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Thanks and you are welcome. You would love every bit and also be amazed at how smoothly everything goes. I truly would like to attend again, but doubt I could order such a perfect day again.
      Check back tomorrow for the rest of the story.

  10. Eha says:

    Why do I think that the ‘big children’ would get even more from this than those designated 🙂 ? Have never seen the Parade: am surely enjoying it ‘second hand’!!

  11. I love seeing all the pre-parade balloons. They look awesome when they are being blown up.

  12. Charles says:

    Ah, ok, I read the posts in the wrong order – different chambers… I guess that prevents bursting, but I guess they can still fly away, hehe. Seeing them on the ground really gives an idea of how HUGE some of those things are! Thanks for sharing the photos Norma – it’s really interesting to learn about this tradition 🙂

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