Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade: a balloon handler’s scoop

Maybe watching the Macy’s Parade is one of your Thanksgiving traditions. Maybe you vaguely know what it is. The gigantic helium balloons manned by volunteers who keep them from whacking down tourists like they are prone to do in the stiff gusts of wind that whistle down the streets of Manhattan, are the most famous features. The idea is to have people enamored by a six-story high Sponge Bob, Mr. Potato Head and Dora the Explorer floating by, not scared to death. Then there’s the Broadway numbers, glitzy floats, rousing marching bands and the TV personalities who yuck it up, often commenting on the shitty weather–or like today, gushing about it’s perfection.

No matter how much commercialism is heaped into the parade, the balloons are amazing. Here’s a video of a woman from Alaska who had a dream of becoming a balloon handler, and she did. There’s tips for how you can become a handler yourself. Also, she explains what is involved in actually doing to the job.

For more parade insider scoop, this You Tube video goes into the background of the Macy’s parade. Watch for the section about a girl who learned to play the tuba in less than a year so she could march in it. It’s another heartwarming Thanksgiving tale.

And still there’s more. For another video that gives up close looks at several balloons, check out this You Tube offering. And, here’s a few more to get you in that parade mood: Seuussical the Musical, the Sesame Street Float, a high school marching band from 1987 and the All Star Drum and Bugle Corps.