Happy Thanksgiving!

Balloons

Every year on the day before Thanksgiving my mom, my brother, and myself trek into Manhattan for the day. We take in some exhibits at the museums, walk through the city, eat at out favorite pizza place, and catch the floats for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade being inflated. You’ve likely seen the parade and the floats at one time or another, but I thought you’d like to see the view behind the scenes before everyone is ready for the march down Central Park West.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's Float

Before the floats are filled with helium to rise above the parade they start out life looking pretty flat. Here’s Mr Potato Head looking very unpotatohead like.

Mr. Potato Head float before being inflated

I’m not quite sure who this float is supposed to be, but you can see some of the helium tanks in the background. That’s a lot of helium. Imagine what your voice would sound like if you inhaled it all.

Helium Tanks

The MO for Dora the Explorer is helping others. Here she could use a little help of her own as her head is comfortably inflated, but the rest of her, including her backpack is still a little flat.

Dora the Explorer

Dora the Explorer

Dora the Explorer's Backpack

Shortly after we arrived the crews were trying to erect the Energizer Bunny. Methinks his batteries were running a little low as moments later the bunny began to deflate, eventually laying on the ground showing no sign of that famous energizer energy. The bunny clearly isn’t always going and going. You can’t really blame the bunny, though. After all the years being on the go he could use a nap. Or is this an indication we all switch to using Duracell?

The Energizer Bunny

The Energizer Bunny Float Losing Air

The Energizer Bunny Float Losing Air

The floats inevitably manage to get their needed helium. Frosty the Snowman, Kermit the Frog, and Ronald McDonald were all filled and raring to go. I hope Ronald doesn’t get a parking ticket. I think he might be in a tow away zone.

Frosty the Snowman Float

Kermit the Frog Float

Ronald McDonald Float

I only caught the backside of Scooby Doo, but I could swear I heard Shaggy opening up a scooby snack.

Scooby Doo Float

My favorite float was Shrek. Shrek was completely inflated and waiting for the festivities. If you never thought about it have a look at all the sandbags needed to keep the floats in place.

Shrek Float

Shrek float being held by sandbags

I hope you enjoyed the pre parade view of the floats. If you’re ever in Manhattan the day before Thanksgiving walk on up to 79th and Columbus and join the people watching the floats being inflated. It’s a fun time and will put you in the mood for the parade and the general feasting and thanks that is Thanksgiving.

And just to toss in a little business thought, keep in mind all that goes into having a successful event. It takes, planning, preparation and hard work to turn an idea into a successful event, website, or business. Those floats don’t simply appear all on their own. A lot of people and helium are needed too.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the U.S. Happy Thursday to everyone outside the states. Time for me to get ready to eat a little too much turkey, sides, and pie.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.

2 comments

  1. Glad you liked the photos Pat. I figured this view of the floats was something most people never see and since I knew I would be there so why not snap a few pics and share. I’m not really a parade person, but for some reason I like seeing the floats as they’re getting inflated.

    No snow here at all. It was very warm yesterday and today. It’s been overcast most of the week with some on and off rain, but still pretty nice out. We’ve had some snow in Boulder already and there might even be some snow on the ground there now for all I know. Not in New York, though.

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