Balloons May Not Fly At Thanksgiving Day Parade Due To Heavy Winds

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

Balloons May Not Fly At Thanksgiving Day Parade Due To Heavy Winds

If you looked at tomorrow’s weather and noticed quite a windy forecast for NYC, you’re not the only one. And that may affect the iconic Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons like Snoopy, Pikachu and Ronald McDonald!

A Macy’s spokesman let us know that they use on-the-ground data instead of weather forecasts to decide if the Parade’s giant balloons will take flight. So, at this time, it is still “too early to make any determinations.”

According to the spokesperson, based on city’s guidelines, “no giant character balloon can be operated when there are sustained wind conditions exceeding 23 mph and wind gusts exceeding 34 mph on the route.”

According to the National Weather Service, tomorrow’s forecast for NYC calls for “a northwest wind 18 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.”


Still, Macy’s will have a licensed meteorologist on-site who continuously monitors conditions, and there are several wind monitoring stations along the Parade route. Also, the “assistant pilot” on each giant balloon carries a wind meter, which is also monitored by an NYPD representative. Each balloon is designed to fly at different heights and angles based on their shape and scale and the exact wind conditions along the route.

The decision to add the balloons to the lineup is made by NYPD and Macy’s officials just prior to the start of the Parade, so we won’t really know until we’re watching it tomorrow!

So, today’s balloon inflation will take place same as usual.

And, either way, the rest of the Parade will happen rain or shine, so at least you’ll be able to enjoy the floats and performances — even if you do miss Yayoi Kusama’s colorful “Love Flies Up To The Sky.”

If you’re still looking for somewhere to watch indoors, don’t miss this breakfast and Parade viewing event.

Featured image credit: Macy’s

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