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Strong Winds May Ground Some Balloons at This Year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade [VIDEO]

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon
Laura Cavanaugh, Getty Images

One of Thanksgiving traditions for a lot of families, including mine, is tuning in and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Well it may be a no-go for the balloons this year, because of weather and tremendously high winds. A storm on the East Coast with a messy mix of snow, rain and wind is threatening to ground giant balloon versions of Snoopy and SpongeBob SquarePants in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Current forecasts call for sustained winds of 20 mph and gusts of 36 mph.

The character balloons will not be able to lift off if winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph. That’s according to city rules that were put in place back in 1977 that soar after strong winds in 1997 caused a Cat in the Hat balloon to knock off a light pole and seriously injure a woman spectator.

Huffington Post reported a Macy’s spokesman, Orlando Veras:

“At this time, it is too early to make any determinations on the flight of the giant balloons. On Thanksgiving morning, Macy’s works closely with the NYPD, who, based on real time weather data and the official regulations, determine if the balloons will fly and at what heights.”


Balloons have only been grounded once in the parade’s 87-year history, when bad weather kept them from flying in 1971. They’re set to be inflated in Manhattan tonight.

Hopefully the winds will die down enough to fly the balloons, but if not, we can still enjoy the floats, marching bands, entertainment and of course the star of the parade — Santa Claus!

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