View Full Version : Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 24th, 2004, 11:20 AM
So are any of you New Yorkers Going? Wish I could be there.

November 25th, 2004, 12:47 PM
I watched it on T.V. I will go see it next year when Im a New Yorker. :P :D :P :D :P

November 25th, 2004, 03:07 PM
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 25 November 2004.




November 25th, 2004, 05:08 PM
Nice Shots!!!

November 25th, 2004, 08:03 PM
Who is that woman and kid?

November 25th, 2004, 10:07 PM
Parade watchers.

November 25th, 2004, 10:42 PM
Anyone braving the morning crowds tomorrow? I am. Im getting up at 4:30. to be @ target at 5:30, then hit Best Buy, and then to Office Max for a digi cam! Wisd me luck!!! :-D

November 25th, 2004, 10:55 PM
What, no SpongeBob?

November 26th, 2004, 10:41 AM
November 26, 2004

64 Degrees, 59 Balloons, and One Perfect Thanksgiving Day Parade


Slide Show: The Parade (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2004/11/25/nyregion/20041125_PARADE_SLIDESHOW_1.html)

Chicken Little was in the lineup of new balloons, but a giant inflatable robin would have fit in just as well as the 78th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade drifted through a balmy, cloud-covered New York.

Soft mud squashed underfoot, idle breezes wafted into open windows, and an estimated 2.5 million spectators who lined up along Central Park West and Broadway basked in a 64-degree morning that felt more like early May than late November.

After all the hand-wringing that wind gusts might ground the giant, helium-inflated balloons, the parade turned into one of the most placid and postcard-perfect in years.

There were no balloons careering out of control, and no injured paradegoers. No one was arrested. And the character everyone clamored to see wasn't a controversial cross-dressing Mrs. Santa Claus (played last year by the actor Harvey Fierstein), but a big cartoon sponge whose new movie opened on Thanksgiving.

"We had this wonderful break in the weather," said Elina Kazan, a spokeswoman for Macy's who provided the crowd estimate. "It was a great window of opportunity for us. All of our balloons made it down."

The temperature hovered in the mid 60's - the warmest in five years - and the winds flitted at 7 m.p.h., never gusting above 17 m.p.h., said Geoff Cornish, a meteorologist at Pennsylvania State University.

"I was prepared for bad weather," said Trish Dean, 45, at the parade for the first time. "It makes me feel optimistic. Even though you're older, it's fun to feel like a little girl again. It gives me a warm glow."

As usual, the Technicolor convoy began creeping through the Upper West Side around 9 a.m. and reached Herald Square around noon. It was led this year by a helmet-wearing Super Grover, the impish Sesame Street character.

Barbie characters sang, and Broadway actors plugged their musicals. Rock-faced marching-band leaders high-stepped by. Celebrities waved. Dancers grinned. Children in the Dakota apartment building pressed against the windows to get a better look.

Whether it was the warm weather, the light winds or the glimpses of sun, paradegoers started to seem intoxicated with glee. People stripped off their sweatshirts, strutted in T-shirts and knotted jackets around their waists.

"Can you believe this weather?" Wendy Skillings of New Hampshire shouted as she and her two sons skipped down West 72nd Street. "This is terrific!"

"We love New York," said Annemette Halvorson, an Upper East Sider whose smile seemed as fixed as a tattoo. "We just love New York."

Strangers took photos of one another, posed in front of giant floating turkeys. Kids played catch in the street, families planned afternoon football games, and a homeless man on 72nd Street sipped from a large Starbucks cup.

Paradegoers joked with the army of police officers who monitored the crowds, penned in behind blue sawhorses and metal cordons. Knapsacks and backpacks were forbidden last year, but this year they were on every almost every shoulder, bursting with bottled water, blankets, magazines and granola bars.

The parade's patriotic tone in the years after 9/11 had been subsumed by exultant commercialism.

The parade's 59 balloons included M&M's candies characters, Ronald McDonald and the game icon Mr. Monopoly. As they floated past, children waved and called out "SpongeBob!" and "Pikachu!" to get the balloons' attention.

When less-commercial floats and generic turkey and elf balloons passed by, the crowds applauded politely, like parents at a mediocre piano recital.

Eleven-year-old Percy Allison cheered for all of the floats, but said he had a soft spot for the monocle-wearing Mr. Peanut. "Mr. Peanut is El Capitano," Percy said.

In 1997, heavy winds nearly halted the parade when the Cat in the Hat balloon crashed into a lamppost, injuring several people.

But this year, the light winds were a flirt, not a threat. When a tether to the SpongeBob SquarePants balloon got wrapped around a lamppost at 56th Street and Broadway around 10 a.m., the crowd began chanting "Free SpongeBob! FreeSpongeBob!" until the 62-foot balloon slipped loose.

Barney, the purple character who appears on public television, veered toward Macy's, but his handlers pulled him back on course.

Balloon handlers like Bart Abbapiello walked through the streets with monk-like concentration, too focused on their tasks to say much else than, "I just enjoy it."

Guiding a floating elf, Mr. Abbapiello walked past people like Bill and Rene Latka of Los Angeles, who said they wished David Hasselhoff had been a featured celebrity, and Jennifer and Kevin Draper, a young married couple who waved to Santa Claus, and Nicholas Perdue, a 6-foot-tall 16-year-old who was perched on his father's shoulders.

"It's been my life's dream to see the parade live," Nicholas said. "Once it starts, it means the holidays are here. My other dream is to get a jet pack."

Howard O. Stier and Janon Fisher contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

November 28th, 2004, 08:25 AM
What, no SpongeBob?

And the character everyone clamored to see...a big cartoon sponge whose new movie opened on Thanksgiving.

As the children have become sophisticated young adults, I have regressed into the silly world of children.

Nice second photo, Edward.

December 4th, 2004, 08:48 PM
December 5, 2004


Deflated, SpongeBob Heads for Storage


The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a memory, and SpongeBob SquarePants, Chicken Little and the other colossal balloons that drew shrieks and squeals of delight from children - and not a few adults - are being prepared for their heliumless hibernation until next Thanksgiving.

After being deflated at end of the parade route in Midtown Manhattan, the balloons sagged so thoroughly into sad heaps of polyurethane-coated nylon fabric that the sight could have made a youngster cry.

Fortunately, this was carried out, as usual, on streets closed to the public during the process, both for efficiency and because "you don't want to break kids' hearts," said Elina Kazan, a Macy's spokeswoman.

The balloons are now at what Macy's calls its parade studio, in Hoboken, N.J., where they will be inspected for wear and tear and repaired if needed, then rolled up tightly and put in storage. How tightly? Well, said Ms. Kazan, SpongeBob - 62 feet high, 38 feet wide and 28 feet long at his floating fullness - will be 6 feet high, 5 feet wide and 8 feet long during his rest.

It may seem clinically heartless to say, but that's what happens when you lose 16,200 cubic feet of helium.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

November 9th, 2005, 04:38 AM
Is there anybody who could record me the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on DVD???
I will pay for all the fees by paypal (cost of DVD, shipping fees, etc).
I would be so grateful for you help!!! Please let me know.
Thanks in advance!

November 9th, 2005, 08:27 AM
Not sure, but you might be able to watch it live / streaming via the NBC website or yahoo ...

November 10th, 2005, 02:36 AM
I cannot see it on TV because I live in Europe and we don't have US-TV that's why I wanted to ask somebody to record it for me.
Are you able to record with you DVD player?
Thanks again.

November 23rd, 2005, 09:08 AM
Far-right group to use Macy's parade to spread antigay message

November 23, 2005

The balloons at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade won't be the only things filled with hot air this week in New York.

Antigay Colorado group Focus on the Family said Tuesday that its members plan to distribute 5,000 "stress balls" along the parade route to promote a Web site it operates that claims that homosexuality is a disorder that can be cured through faith. Visitors to the site, TroubledWith.com, who think they might be gay or lesbian are told, "You're not simply 'wired that way.'" In another section, visitors are told that being gay or lesbian can be prevented, because "like other adult problems, homosexuality begins at home. Mom and Dad are key players." Also to blame are porn, the media, and "seduction by peers."

The Web site also carries faith-based advice on topics ranging from eating disorders to depression.

Focus on the Family plans to run 30-second commercials in the New York market during The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil. The group is already running ads on an electronic billboard in Times Square.

The conservative ministry appears to be in a desperate search for new, younger followers to tune in to the radio show by Focus founder James Dobson. Web site creator Steve Watters told the Associated Press that the number of listeners has not been growing in recent years and that most people who call for help are in their late 40s. (Advocate.com)

October 19th, 2006, 10:28 AM
October 18, 2006

Empire State Building Floats On By

Posted by Jen Chung


The History Channel is creating a wild, NYC-centric float for this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. According to its press release:

Designed to mirror a child's tin wind-up toy, The History Channel float will feature a giant replica of New York City's most famous skyscraper, the Empire State Building. In addition, the float will reveal through its wind-up motion, iconic dates, celebrations and locations, tracing the history of New York City. Through the artistry of the Macy's Parade Studio team, the float will feature landmark events throughout history from the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty to Babe Ruth's defining moments at Yankee Stadium, to the world-famous World War II "Kiss" in Times Square, all helping to bring history to life.

And it looks like the 1964 World's Fair Towers (http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2004/07/08/what_to_do_with_the_1964_worlds_fair_towers_in_que ens.php) are included, as is the Parachute Jump (http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2006/07/08/an_old_brooklyn_1.php).

This year's parade is on November 23. The balloon blow-up is the night before, and this year, there's a new parade safety protocol (http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2006/09/20/new_thanksgivin.php) (we still cannot believe the lady who was hit by the street lamp that fell when a Cat in the Hat balloon went arey during the 1997 parade had one of the apartments that the Lidle plane flew into (http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2006/10/13/lidle_crash_inv.php)). And here's behind the scenes looks about the making of floats (http://www1.macys.com/campaign/parade/float.jsp) and balloons (http://www1.macys.com/campaign/parade/balloon.jsp?dst=balloon).

2003-2006 Gothamist LLC.

November 21st, 2006, 10:03 AM
New York Sun
November 21, 2006

Macy's Team Ready To Float In Big Parade


Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s stars sit inside a four-story warehouse that spans about half a city block in Hoboken, N.J., where they are constantly revised and where new characters are created.

The Macy's design team spent nearly five months constructing the float: a 36-foot rendition of the Empire State Building that opens up to reveal various scenes inside. Tomorrow night, the team will spend about 90 minutes taking it apart. Before it towers over observers at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday, it must be made small enough to squeeze through the Lincoln Tunnel.

On the eve of each Thanksgiving, the staff at Macy's Parade Studio in Hoboken, N.J., must make sure that every float and balloon has been safely dismantled and deflated. Once their creations have been sufficiently shrunk, the artists can send the finished pieces on their late-night trek to Manhattan.

The team will also load a giant hot air balloon constructed to help celebrate the parade's 80th anniversary. The vice president of the studio, John Piper, said this year's theme is "Around the World in 80 Parades," and that it seemed appropriate for the new balloon and the event's director, Robin Hall, to lead Thursday's procession.

The team will also pack away the Energizer Bunny. The giant pink rabbit will make its debut this year as a "balloonicle," a new type of balloon that moves on its own like a car. It shouldn't come as a shock that this one's running on batteries.

In addition to new surprises, the designers will also send out some fresh twists to old favorites. A perennial parade icon, Snoopy, has received a makeover: He will appear in his "Flying Ace" garb, complete with pilot goggles, red scarf, and binoculars. The Pikachu balloon was also updated. It will boast flashing red cheeks this year.

The floats and balloons are escorted to Manhattan by members of the Port Authority, New Jersey state police officers, and city police officers. According to Captain John Collins, the commanding officer at the Lincoln Tunnel, more than 50 vehicles will be involved, forming a convoy that stretches to about a mile.

The rest of the year, the parade's stars sit inside a four-story warehouse that spans about half a city block, where they are constantly revised and where new characters are created.

With high-profile characters always popping up, Mr. Piper, 50, said it's important for the Hoboken building to appear bland.

"We don't want people who work in the neighborhood stopping by all the time or peeking in the windows, like, ‘Are the floats ready yet?'"

The interior is a different story. The décor incorporates elements of both history and fantasy. From the gargoyle perched atop the staff refrigerator (Dinotopia float, 2001) to the models of Charlie Brown and Kermit the Frog balloons suspended above production offices, the past literally looms over employees.

"We make sure we have our old friends all over the place," Mr. Piper said via telephone, as he stood in the team's old-style booth with folding doors.

It took nearly half a century for the studio to amass such a collection. Before Mr. Piper's predecessor, Manfred Bass, moved the team to Hoboken in 1969, the building had been a Tootsie Roll factory. According to Mr. Piper, "Manfred said there were still cocoa beans on the floor."

Just in case the artists forget their purpose, there's also a massive wooden ribbon that hangs near the top of the studio's five-ton crane. It reads: "where the magic begins."

To be more accurate, however, the magic begins in the workshops on the first floor. That is where the painters, sculptors, animators, engineers, and wood and metal workers comprising Mr. Piper's full-time staff and seasonal freelancers turn what he refers to as " jottings on a pencil and paper" or "noodling on a napkin" into the finished products on view every Thanksgiving. A balloon may take four to six months to construct, and a float typically takes three to five months, he said.

The chief marketing "bear" at Build-A-Bear Workshop, Teresa Kroll, said seeing her company's completed float was a career highlight. "I cried tears of joy — seeing our brand so wonderfully brought to life via our float was an experience of a lifetime," she wrote in an e-mail, adding that she sent each employee a bear as a reward for their hard work. "It takes a village to raise a bear and a Build-A-Bear Workshop float."

Mr. Piper has a similar warm reaction when watching his creations on the big day. This Thanksgiving will be his 26th parade as a member of the design team, and his sixth as its leader. He plans to make sure each piece gets off to a good start.

"When I'm at the starting line, the balloon that's crossing is my favorite," he said, "until the next one comes along."

© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.

November 21st, 2006, 10:25 AM
bummer ...

Heavy Winds Threaten To Ground Macy's Parade Balloons

ny1.com (http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?stid=1&aid=64495)
November 20, 2006

With heavy winds in the forecast for Thursday, it's possible Macy's will have to ground some of the Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons.

Winds between 20 and 40 miles an hour are in store for Turkey Day according to local meteorologists. If sustained winds exceed 23 miles an hour, the Macy's balloons will not be permitted to fly.

Last year, two sisters were hurt after the M&M balloon crashed into a light pole during the parade. New safety measures are now in place, which include pulling spectators further away from the curb and limiting how high the balloons can fly.

The wind rule has been in effect since 1997 when a parade goer was seriously injured after getting hit in the head when the Cat in the Hat balloon hit a light post.

Copyright © 2006 NY1 News.

November 21st, 2006, 12:47 PM
Wow. That sucks. I have a friend who lives in Miami, and she would be hurt if she doesn't see all the ballons. ~_~

November 21st, 2006, 12:55 PM
1010 Wins
November 21, 2006

Macy's Prepping for Thanksgiving Day Parade


This Thanksgiving Macy's will celebrate the 80th Anniversary of its Thanksgiving Day Parade. The retail giant has created a special marching band for the occasion, comprised of over 200 musicians and dancers who are also students from each of 50 states and DC.

The parade will commence at 9am and last through 12 noon on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23rd, and will be broadast in its entirety on NBC.

The route starts on the Upper West Side at W. 77th Street and Central Park West, following CPW south to Columbus Circle. At the Circle, the parade continues down Broadway, through Times Sq., to Macy's headquarters at Herald Square.

At W. 34th Street and Broadway in Herald Square, the parade will turn and head west on 34th street and end at 7th Avenue.

For the parade's route and the best places to watch along the way, click here (http://www1.macys.com/campaign/parade/pop/info.jsp).

Inflation of the balloons will take place the night before Thanksgiving, an event that Macy's reports has been a popular spectator draw since 1927, at the location of the parade's start between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday night, Nov. 22nd.

The balloon inflation fills three city blocks, and parade organizers use nets and sandbags keep the balloons from flying away at night.

The NYPD announced street closures for the inflation, beginning at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday:
W. 81st St. and W. 77th St. between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

Those who would like to view the inflation can do so on those streets.

After the inflation, as of 10 p.m. W. 81st St. and W. 77th St. between CPW and Columbus will remain closed, and Central Park West will be closed from W. 59th Street to W. 86th Street.

Only broadcast vehicles can park on the west side of Central Park West, between 77th and 81st Streets, beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22. However, those vehicles must be gone by 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Wednesday the 22nd is also a Gridlock Alert day in NYC. In addition, Thursday's observance of the major holiday of Thanksgiving means that alternate side parking regulations in New York city are suspended, parking meter regulations are suspended, and stopping, standing and parking are permitted except where no stopping/standing/parking rules are in effect seven days a week, as in zones with red "No Standing Anytime" signs.

Parade formation begins at 8 a.m. Thursday at W. 77th Street between CPW and Columbus Avenue, W. 81st Street between CPW and Columbus, and Central Park West between W. 77th and W. 86th Streets.

As of midnight Thursday morning, the following street closures will be in effect per the NYPD:

· Broadway between 34th Street and 38th Street – Midnight to 1 p.m.

· 7th Avenue from West 34th Street to West 40th Street – 2 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

· 34th Street between 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue – 2 a.m. to 3 p.m.

· 35th Street between 5th Avenue and 8th Avenue – 2 a.m. to 4 p.m.

· 36th Street between 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue – 2 a.m. to 2 p.m.

· 37th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue – 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.

· 38th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue – 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.

· 8th Avenue between 34th Street and 40th Street – 4 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

· Broadway between 38th Street and 59th Street – 4 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

· 33rd Street between 7th Avenue and 10th Avenue – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

· 39th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

· 40th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

· Central Park 65th Street/66th Street Transverse Roads – 8 a.m. until conclusion

In addition, the NYPD announced a special restriction on parking in these areas: there will be no parking three car lengths from any crosswalk on the side streets along the entire parade route.

Below is a partial list of featured performers and balloons:


Firecrackers Jump-Roping Team
Movile Azalea Trail Maids
Commack Versity Cougarettes
Hung-Sheng Lion Dance Theatre
Ballet Hispanico School Students
Heartland Hoedowners
UCA/UDA Cheerleaders
Mike Miller Dance Team
Harlem Globetrotters
Phoenix Boys Choir
Camp Broadway
Broadway Dance Center
School of American Ballet


Big Bird
Energizer Bunny
Ronald McDonald


Sesame Street
Charlotte's Web
Mother Goose
Polar express
Statue of Liberty


High schools from:
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Tucson, Ariz.
Homewood, Ala.
Indianapolis, Ind.
Mountain Home, Ark.
Strongsville, Ohio
plus -
Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas
Riverside Community College, Riverside, California
U.S. Air Force (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and NYPD Marching bands


Barry Manilow
Julie Andrews
Gloria Estefan
Diana DeGarmo
Laurie Berkner Band
Miss USA
Muppets/Sesame St
11 groups of clowns

Click here (http://www1.macys.com/campaign/parade/parade.jsp) for complete lineup information from Macy's.

TM & © 2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

November 23rd, 2006, 01:29 PM
November 23, 2006

Wind and Rain Fail to Stop Big Balloons


Wind and rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the larger-than-expected crowds that turned out today to watch the big balloons drift above the streets of Manhattan in the 80th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

As a strong northeaster climbed up the East Coast on Wednesday, many had thought that the weather would ground the giant balloons. But this morning the parade got the go-ahead despite a cold rain and wind. The balloons rose up, drifting past visitors and residents, many of whom had gathered early along the parade route.

“We just got our umbrellas and we are well prepared with lots of blankets,” said Rejeana Palma, who comes to New York for Thanksgiving every year from Steubenville, Ohio, with her husband and four children. Like many others watching the giant balloons and marching bands, the family arrived at their spot early, staking out a place on Seventh Avenue and 44th Street at 6:30 a.m. While the poor weather and heightened oversight did not ground the festivities, the 13 big balloons flew lower than usual, about 17 feet from the ground to the midpoint of the balloon, as a precaution as winds blew six miles per hour with gusts up to 18 m.p.h. at the start of the parade around 9 a.m.

Early this morning, top city officials had huddled in a room at the New-York Historical Society to weigh factors such as the weather and lessons learned from the mishaps of previous parades.

After the northeaster on Wednesday drove a wall of rain and wind before it, the weather was as bleak as the memories of 1997, when a Cat in the Hat balloon crashed into a lamppost, injuring four people and leaving one of them in a coma, and those of last year, when an M&M balloon sent the head of a street lamp crashing onto a woman in a wheelchair and her 11-year-old sister.

This year new preparations were put into place for the parade. Seven pole-mounted anemometers transmitted minute-by-minute wind measurements to handheld computers. Police and emergency management officials relayed the data to balloon navigators. Aerodynamics engineers and a liaison from the National Weather Service advised the incident commander, a three-star police chief.

The low-flying balloons of today were the best case scenario. In the worst case, as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg warned Wednesday, the hapless helium-filled creatures could be pulled onto side streets and summarily deflated.

As the 13 giant balloons — including a new Pikachu and Flying Ace Snoopy, past parade favorites that have been redesigned for this year — were inflated Wednesday afternoon and evening around the American Museum of Natural History, some parade volunteers admitted to anxiety.

Guidelines adopted in 1998 prohibit the giant balloons from being flown if sustained winds exceed 23 miles per hour or if gusts exceed 34 m.p.h.

In the past, the decision to fly the balloons was made just before the start of the parade, based on wind measurements taken at a weather station in Central Park. Along the parade route, workers used handheld anemometers — instruments that measure wind speed and direction — to make decisions about whether to fly the balloons at lower heights because of sudden gusts.

The wind measurements this year were much more systematic. Anemometers were mounted on poles along Central Park West at 77th, 72nd and 59th Streets and along Broadway at 51st, 46th, 42nd and 34th Streets. Each instrument was monitored by a police officer and a representative of the Office of Emergency Management using a portable computer.

As each of the 13 big balloons approached the intersections, the police officer were talking with the pilot who walks ahead of the balloon, directing a flight team of 12 to 14 members and the 50 to 70 handlers who carried the balloon’s tethers. The officer alerted the pilot about wind conditions, which can vary even from block to block, based on the height and layout of surrounding buildings. As in past years, a police officer also marched with each balloon.

After the 1997 accident, a 12-member panel appointed by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani recommended restrictions on the operation and size of the balloons, improved training of the volunteer balloon crews and new maximum wind speeds.

Two months ago, a five-member task force appointed by Mr. Bloomberg to review last year’s accident found that the M&M balloon was traveling in an area significantly narrower than Macy’s guidelines allowed before its ropes got caught on a streetlight near Times Square.

The flight passageway or “envelope” — the width of the route free of obstructions — was supposed to be at least 62 feet from curb to curb, according to the report. In fact, however, the passageway as measured just north of the accident was 39 feet, because of obstructions. The streetlight, which did not extend over the curb line, stood just outside this 39-foot passageway.

The task force directed that the calculations for how high the balloons can be flown be based on an assumption of a maximum passageway of 56 feet, instead of 62. Each balloon has its own guidelines for how high it should be flown, but the narrower envelope means that all balloons will be flown slightly lower than in the past.

The task force also recommended that calculations of the envelope take into account obstructions along the route and not simply be measured from curb to curb. It also urged improvements in communication, wind measurements and preparations.

The Macy’s parade began in 1924, and the giant balloons made their debut in 1927. The parade was not held from 1942 to 1944.

Matthew Sweeney, Diane Cardwell, Kate Hammer, Emily Vasquez and Christine Hauser contributed reporting.









Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

November 24th, 2006, 11:11 PM
The parade. More pictures on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudentas/sets/72157594390548964/).

http://static.flickr.com/110/305400636_35d3c82a7a_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudentas/sets/72157594390548964/)

http://static.flickr.com/100/305400591_852be51227_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudentas/sets/72157594390548964/)

November 25th, 2006, 01:54 PM
80 Years After Coronation,
a Queen Returns to Macy’s

Left, Macy’s; Right, Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times
Helen Gross, 101, outside Macy’s, where she was a guest at the parade Thursday.
She was queen in the parade in 1926 and 1927, when she was Helen Olstein.
At left, Miss Olstein was in the center of the star in a scene from a 1927 production
by Macy’s employees, Red Star Revue.

nytimes.com (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/24/nyregion/24queen.html?em&ex=1164603600&en=e349cda76dfa01c1&ei=5087%0A)
November 24, 2006

On Nov. 25, 1926, Macy’s held a small parade for the third Thanksgiving in a row. The main purpose of the three-block-long procession, which made its way from the City College of New York, at 137th Street and Convent Avenue, to Herald Square, was to mark the start of the Christmas season. The procession had live zoo animals, but no giant balloons. About 10,000 people lined the streets to watch.

A highlight of this modest affair was Helen Olstein, a 21-year-old employee from the Macy’s customer-complaint department. Wearing a dress and crown and pulled in a horse-drawn carriage, she was the queen of the parade, attended by other Macy’s employees who were playing her ladies-in-waiting.

How did Miss Olstein, a nice Jewish girl from the Bronx, get selected for this honor? A Macy’s manager organizing the parade had spotted her and asked if she would like to take part.

“I said, ‘Of course,’ ” she recalled yesterday.

Miss Olstein, now Helen Gross, turned 101 on May 13. She was the queen in the parade — a role long since retired — in 1926 and 1927. Now living in a retirement community in Plantation, Fla., Mrs. Gross returned as a guest yesterday for the 80th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, watching the affair from a front-row seat in front of the flagship store on Broadway. On either side were her daughters, Mimi Goldman, 76, and Barbara Cohn, 72.

“It was a delicious time, and we had so much fun,” Mrs. Gross recalled of her role as queen. The first giant balloons — four of them, Felix the Cat being the most famous — made their debuts in 1927, but Mrs. Gross does not remember them well. “I wasn’t sitting there, watching the parade,” she said. “I was in it!”

Born in a small Polish town outside Warsaw, Mrs. Gross immigrated with her parents, sister and brother. They entered through Ellis Island and settled in the Bronx.

Mrs. Gross worked at Macy’s for several years after high school, handling complaints about lost packages. She left the store in 1928 when she married Jack Gross, a traveling salesman of blouses and knitwear. She raised her daughters in Woodmere, on Long Island, and, when they were grown, joined her husband on the road. He died in 1989. She has driven across the country at least twice, and continued to drive until age 98, when she had a hip replacement.

“The secret is to keep busy,” Mrs. Gross said of becoming a centenarian. “If you slow down, you’re finished. I still volunteer, I do a lot of reading, and I don’t like to gossip.”

Before Mrs. Gross boarded her flight in Fort Lauderdale, a Delta Air Lines employee announced that a queen was in their midst. Passengers applauded and bowed as they passed her seat.

All the attention hasn’t fazed Mrs. Gross. Today, she plans to have a family reunion at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan, joined by her daughters, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. She is to return home tomorrow.

Mrs. Gross said she was thankful for her health and for her daughters, who live near her in Florida. “We meet every Friday for dinner,” she said. “That’s a plus in any mother’s heart. I’m very lucky.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

January 17th, 2007, 03:34 PM
Hi folks,

I was in New York for the 2006 Thanksgiving Day Parade and loved it (apart from the rain!!!).

I was wondering if anyone taped the NBC show and could burn it onto DVD for me (or point me to a website that has the video).

As I am from the UK I could not tape the show myself but would love to see the TV coverage.


March 27th, 2009, 08:02 PM
March 27, 2009 11:42 AM

Macy’s parade may skip Times Square

City mulls shifting Thanksgiving day balloons and bands to 6th Ave from Broadway.

By Lisa Fickenscher (http://www.crainsnewyork.com/apps/pbcs.dll/personalia?ID=10)

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade organizers believe Broadway is too narrow to safely handle the balloons. Photo by Elisabeth Butler Cordova

For the first time in its 84 year-history, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade may bypass Times Square this November.

The city is considering moving the parade route from Broadway to Sixth Avenue for several reasons not least of which is Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to transform much of Times Square into a pedestrian plaza starting in late May.

Local business leaders are already crying foul. They say the district would take a huge economic hit if the parade shifts east. They note that it is one of the most profitable events of the year for area businesses. Hotel rooms along the route are booked a year in advance and retailers count on the throngs of visitors to the district as well as the worldwide exposure on television.

“We are certainly very concerned,” says Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. “But we understand that the city has not yet made a decision.”

A spokesman for the Department of Transportation said a working group has been assembled to discuss the matter and it will be making recommendations soon.

The issue surfaced most recently at the Mayor’s Midtown Citizen’s Committee community meeting on Wednesday when DOT officials said the agency is considering the change. According to several people who attended the meeting, the city officials believe that the outdoor tables, chairs and signs in the pedestrian plaza—which will be shut off to vehicular traffic traveling north and south from West 47th St. to West 42nd St.—will create a safety issue involving the ropes that secure the giant helium-filled balloons.

Parade organizers also argue that Broadway is simply too narrow. In 2005, a 26-year-old woman and her 11 year-old sister were injured when an M&M’s balloon became entangled on a streetlight between 43rd and 44th Streets. The incident resulted in a city investigation, which found that Macy’s own guidelines called for a broader course than Broadway provides.

At the time, Macy’s said it would submit a plan to the city to “recontour the parade” including bypassing Times Square. But until now the issue had seemingly remained dormant.

At least five hotels are located along the parade route, which begins at 77th Street and Central Park West and turns on to Broadway at Columbus Circle. It ends at Macy’s flagship Herald Square store.

Among the properties that would suffer in the rerouting would be the Marriott Marquis and The Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square, both of which already have taken reservations for Thanksgiving.

“Rooms that overlook the parade go for a premium on that day,” says Renaissance general manager, Thomas Foti, whose property boasts 30 such rooms. He says 75% of those rooms are typically booked for the holiday by this time of year.

“It’s going to negatively affect a number of hotels in the area,” if the parade moves, he adds.


© 2009 Crain Communications, Inc

March 27th, 2009, 08:26 PM
I will be on the sidelines 1 year at the Macy's Thanks giving Day Parade sometime during the next decade.

March 29th, 2009, 03:33 PM
i think it would it would be cool to do that for one year. an interesting change of scenery while they do the streetwork. however, afterward it should return to its route thru times square. there is nothing to compare to that spectacle, a sixth ave route just won't do!

March 29th, 2009, 11:17 PM
This Thanksgiving I will watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV.