Balloons and a Turkey: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

marching band in thanksgiving paradeBeing in Lancaster for the holidays can create some wonderful sights and sounds and really get somebody in the festive Christmas spirit. Whether it’s via a live Christmas show, a tree lighting ceremony, or countless other fun Holiday activities – they’re all meant to leave you excited for the season.

And on that note, we at AMT have been talking about this year’s Christmas Show for years, so we’re sort of conditioned to be in a perennial state of holiday cheer. However, long before my professional career brought me heavily into the Christmas season this early, there was one event that I looked forward to every year that’d get me some Holiday cheer.

As far back as I can remember, I recall waking up on Thanksgiving morning and being around my family. We’d have breakfast and relax because we knew that seeing all of our large, extended family was going to do a number on us – not to mention the sleep-inducing feat of eating two Thanksgiving dinners in one day. Anyway, during those AM hours, we’d flip on the TV and – because this was before everybody had 800 channels of TV programming – we’d watch the beloved and extraordinary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

As a sprout, it’s pretty impressive. You’d see these truly larger-than-life characters, that you’re familiar with seeing in an animated fashion, tower over the droves of people watching on the streets. Of course, always paying attention to the wind because in the back of your mind you know that all that can keep them from floating away or causing significant damage to the buildings and onlookers is a group of 25 or so people holding onto the various strings connected to these balloons. It’s like Godzilla…but in a good way.

Because Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is coming up this Thursday, I thought I’d share some photos of some of my favorite balloons.ToyStory-300x199

Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story

Buzz Lightyear was made to be in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not really, but any character that looks like it’s flying is already a perfect match for the parade. Woody and the crew would be nice to see floating high above the crowds, but Buzz is exciting and fun, and a perfect match for the day.



The lazy, spaghetti-loving cat is a perennial favorite to see at the parade, and this picture just shows off this cat’s cool factor. It’s pretty hard to imagine that his creator, Jim Davis, thought this feline would be such a hit. It’s way harder to imagine that Mr. Davis thought his cat would be idolized hovering over New York City, but lucky for us, both came true. Sometimes he’s seen floating solo, other times it’s with his beloved teddy bear, but no matter what, the cat is fun to see (and pretty timeless).


Pikachu, Pokemon

So I’ll tell you right now that I don’t really know anything about Pokemon. Honestly, up until just last week, I didn’t know they still existed, but read an article about how huge of an industry this still is, and my mind was blown. Anyway, similar to Buzz Lightyear, I think this balloon is pretty fantastic given his action pose.

Of course, there are countless others, such as Mr. Potato head, Kermit The Frog and Snoopy, but these are just a couple of my favorite photos. I’m sure that this year will feature loads of new characters as well as beloved ones from the past. If you want to know which of your favorite characters will be in this year’s parade, check out the lineup.

What’s your favorite balloon? Do you look forward to the parade every year?