Tonight I have a special surprise post. There's no Thanksgiving without the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and while I'm not brave enough to face the gigantic crowds for the big event, I did manage to sneak a pre-Thanksgiving peek of the action. So of course I'm sharing it with you, just in case you can't wait until tomorrow morning.
Every year on the night before turkey day the famous balloons are inflated near Central Park in preparation for the big event. The best part is this is open to the public. Now, I was given the impression that this wasn't an incredibly well-know thing, but I quickly realized I was wrong when myself and a few thousand others poured out of the subway on to 81st St. and were given specific directions on how and where to view the balloons.
This was my first glimpse. I know on television they talk about how massive these things are, but it just doesn't put it into perspective until you see a giant Hello Kitty towering 5 stories over you.
The Buzz Lightyear balloon was drawing quite the crowd for some reason.
A little rain and freezing temps won't keep these New Yorkers away!
I got to watch the inflation process. It takes a lot of effort to get these puppies ready. Each balloon is held down by a giant net and a couple hundred sand bags, you can't have a giant Spongebob balloon floating around NYC all night.
Slowly but surely the balloon goes up. It was taking much longer than you'd expect. My fingers were frozen but at this point I was committed to seeing the final product.
These workers were surprisingly enthusiastic about their job in the rain and 30 degree weather. They kept dancing and trying to rev up the crowd. Each new step of the process was greeted by whoops from their adoring fans.
Ta-da! No idea who this elf guy is, I was hoping this balloon would be one that I recognized.
I apologize for the grodiness, but I found it humorous how many Starbucks cups were left at the trash can. I guess everyone had the same idea.
Not nearly as impressive after seeing the real deal.
Fun fact: each balloon requires 50-100 handlers. This Hello Kitty is so big I'm thinking she might need a few extra.
You can't have Thanksgiving without a pumpkin!
There's been lots of talk about the possibility of grounding the balloons due to the bad weather on the east coast. The final call won't be made until early Thanksgiving morning. At 4:30 a.m. each balloon will get an extra burst of helium and the flying process will begin. I'm sure glad I'm not the one making that call. Keep your fingers crossed!