Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons 2011

Let's Have a Parade! Behind the Scenes at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Let's Have a Parade! Behind the Scenes at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Strike up the band; the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is ready to go! A time-honored tradition for many families, the nationally televised parade is the perfect mode of entertainment for multiple generations who've gathered together for the holiday. This is the 85th year Macy's has put on the parade that winds its way through New York City, and it looks to be bigger and better than ever. With 15 gigantic balloons — including new friends such as Paul Frank's Julius, the Aflac duck, and a new character created by Tim Burton, as well as longtime favorites like Kermit the Frog, Mickey Mouse, and Spider-Man — 27 floats, 800 clowns, and 1,600 cheerleaders, there's plenty to entertain fidgety tots.

I got a behind-the-scenes look at the helium-filled wonders tonight, as their handlers — the large balloons require up to 100 handlers each! — got them ready for their moment in the spotlight. Under the direction of a new grand marshal, the parade gets underway bright and early on Thanksgiving Day. If you don't plan to be one of the 3.5 million people who line the streets to watch the festivities pass by, check out my sneak peek at the fan-favorite balloons, and then tune into NBC to see just how high they fly!

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