Last night I did something I’ve always wanted to do. That’s head over to Central Park West around 79th street, the night before Thanksgiving and watch as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons are inflated. I’d never done it before so when I got the opportunity to go behind the scenes with a group of fellow bloggers, courtesy of Macy’s, I jumped at the chance.
Our small group met on Columbus Avenue and 75th street around 4 o’clock and were greeted with a steady drizzle but excited tourists and New Yorkers, eager to get a preview of the big parade. As with any big event in New York, there are glitches and even though we had bona fide press passes firmly around out necks, the NYPD didn’t want to let us into the restricted area where all the balloon goodies waiting. But our contact Lauren Roseman did some fast talking and got us through.
Safely behind the police barricades, we were able to get a closeup look at some of the hard work that goes into getting the 15 giant balloons and 44 mid-size balloons ready for their Thanksgiving Day close-ups. There were spotlights along the street so workers and spectators could see the balloons more clearly and large speakers piped out jaunty Christmas music.
Julius the Monkey
First we hit 79th street where the balloons at the head of the parade are located. They’re lined up on the street in the order they will appear in the parade. Earlier this week, they were transported through the Lincoln Tunnel from their new studio home in Moonachie, New Jersey, to the streets of Central Park West.