Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Floating Down 6th Avenue

We had planned to watch the parade at Columbus Circle, but were blocked (crowd was too large) at the intersection of 57th Street and 7th Avenue and directed to go east on 57th Street.

Imagine the sea of people going in the same direction, we could go no further than the middle of the block between 6th and 7th Avenue. Fortunately we were on the top of a slope and could see the balloons (but not the floats, the marching bands or anything at ground level) as they floated south on 6th Avenue.

Hello Kitty, 2012 New Balloon

Kermit the Frog, First Flight 2002

Charlie Brown, First Flight 2002

DSC05335editp copyKung Fu Panda, First Flight 2010

Julius the Monkey, First Flight 2011

Spiderman, First Flight 2009

Pikachu, First Flight 2006

Sponge Bob, First Flight 2004

Papa Smurf, 2012 New Balloon

Sailor Mickey Mouse, First Flight 2009

Sonic the Hedgehog, First Flight 2011

Ronald McDonald, First Flight 2000

Pillsbury Doughboy, First Flight 2009

Elf on the Shelf, 2012 New Balloon

Buzz Lightyear, First Flight 2008

Santa Claus

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Facts
This is the 86 Annual Macy’s Parade. More than more than 3 million people lined the parade route to watch.
There are 56 balloons in this year’s parade – 16 giant character balloons and 40 novelty/ornamental balloons
The number of handlers for each giant balloon varies, but average around 60
Each giant balloon is also anchored to 2 golf cart like vehicles to add further security
There are 28 floats, 11 marching bands, 1600 cheerleaders and dancers and 900 clowns
The parade begins at 9:00 a.m. at 77th Street and Central Park West
The parade ends at noon at Macy’s, Herald Square (34th Street)
Balloons are deflated on 7th Avenue (near Macy’s) at the end of the parade
The deflated balloons are returned to Macy’s Parade Studio in New Jersey to be repaired cleaned and placed in storage until the next parade


Again all the above photos were taken by my daughter, Kathy. 
This post and the previous 2 posts would not have been possible without her photos. Great job Kathy and thanks a bunch!!!!!

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

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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41 Responses to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Floating Down 6th Avenue

  1. Karen says:

    It sounds like a nice way to spend a Thanksgiving holiday. Lots of crowds but fun over all.

  2. cecilia says:

    You must have shrieked with excitement when you saw what your daughter had captured, thank her and thank you for such an awesome collection.. c

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cecilia,
      Yes, I did. I will certainly convey your thanks. She is a much better photographer than I plus she enjoys the activity. Reason I left my camera at home.

  3. Kristy says:

    What great photos! Please thank your daughter for sharing. You were right – Mr. N and Miss A loved these. They came scrambling over when I told them there was another parade post this morning. They were also fascinated by how many years each has been in the parade. 🙂

  4. Phyllis Smith says:

    Hi Norma, Great pictures from a good vantage spot. Thanks to Kathy for sharing! I am saving them to show my grandchildren. Phyll

  5. Katie says:

    How fun! How do they decide on which balloons will be chosen? How many years do they last? What do they do with the retired ones? Now you’ve gone and made me very curious! Thanks Norma, that was a really great series of posts.

  6. A really fun Thanksgiving parade!

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    A perfect end to the series, Norma, and it was a very enjoyable series, at that. How wonderful that your daughter did the photography for you. She sure did a great job!
    Thanks for taking us along and taking the time to organize and upload all the photos and descriptions for each. For many of us, this is about as close as we may get to seeing the pre-parade activities. I was fascinated.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Thanks and you are welcomed, glad you enjoyed the series. I had loads of fun putting it together and learned a great deal along the way.
      Yes, my daughter did a great job with the photos, she has a very good eye for photo composition.

  8. Haha I especially love the Santa one (someone has been nibbling one too many cookies ;))

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love the elf balloon. What a great parade. Amazing your daughter was able to take such good images in such an enormous crowd xx

  10. Charles says:

    I can’t believe how detailed some of those balloons are – they must take ages to make… I wonder as well, what are they made of? It must be some really durable stuff to be used year after year! Do any of the balloons ever burst or fly away?

  11. These are magnificent photos! Your daughter is a talented photographer.

  12. o wow, looks grate, I’d like to see it one day.

  13. Eha says:

    Thank you again! NO, I no longer love the ‘pushing and shoving’ [come to think of it I don’t think I ever did 🙂 !] and it was a delight to try and pick favourites comfortably sitting in my armchair!! Now I can say I have been there!!!!! Hmmm?

  14. Dear Norma,

    Happy belated thanksgiving. Looks like you folks had a beautiful parade there. My favourite is the Spiderman! 🙂

  15. What a fun way to spend the holidays–love the Pillsbury dough boy =)

  16. Annie says:

    Never seen a Thanksgiving parade ever! It’s wonderful that you shared your experience here…now, I feel as if I’ve been there too:)

  17. Wow, what a fabulous parade Norma! I’ve always wanted to go, ever since I watched Miracle on 34th Street when I was a little girl. Now I feel like I was there. I’m going to show the ponytails tonight…I’m afraid I slipped on my reading this weekend between the baking, tree decorating and kid activities things got a little out of hand. My youngest daughter will love the Hello Kitty balloon!

  18. Sophie33 says:

    Very cool floating pics! thanks for sharing with us all! 🙂 What a lovely parade too!

  19. Lilly Sue says:

    I missed watching the parade this year! I typically watch it at my parents but I didn’t arrive until it was over 😦 I heard there were some great performances though!

  20. What a fantastic way to spend time with your family. One day I would love to do the same! Julius the monkey is so cute!

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