The famous balloons that steal the show at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York are being inflated along New York’s Central Park West, near the Museum of Natural History, ahead of tomorrow’s spectacle.
Anyone can catch a sneak peak at the giant inflatables until 8pm, when admission closes at the entrance to the viewing area at 74th Street and Columbus Avenue, Macy’s says, which for some may be the best move since dangerously high winds may ground the 19 helium-filled giants and keep them from the procession.
New York officials signed off on more strict rules for flying the balloons after a wind-swept, six-story ‘Cat in the Hat’ balloon knocked down a street lamp, seriously injuring a woman in 1997.
An astronaut version of ‘Snoopy’ from the Peanuts comic strips and who has his own new show on Apple TV+ is pictured fully inflated on Wednesday along Manhattan’s Central Park West
Pokemon’s adorable ‘Pikachu’ rests on his side after he was inflated along Central Park West on Wednesday
Children on Wednesday are pictured waiting to see ‘Olaf’ from the Disney Frozen movies franchise rise along Central Park West on Wednesday in preparation for the parade the next day
That’s why authorities will be monitoring wind speeds closely on Thursday morning and will wait till the last minute to make a call on whether to ground the balloons before the procession’s start at 9 a.m.
The balloons cannot fly if there sustained winds of more than 23 miles-per-hour or gusts that exceed 34 mph.
The National Weather Service is projecting sustained winds of up to 24 mph (38.6 kph) with gusts to 40 mph (64.4 kph) during the parade, reports the Associated Press.
The ‘Wiggle Worm’ balloon isn’t getting away from this volunteer who helped fill up the balloon character along New York’s Central Park West Wednesday in preparation for the parade the next day
The ‘Wiggle Worm’ balloon is readied for a fill up of helium along New York’s Central Park West Wednesday in preparation for the parade the next day
The ‘Wiggle Worm’ balloon is pictured as volunteers helped fill up the balloon with helium Wednesday in preparation for the parade the next day
Thanks to an infusion of helium, the ‘Wiggle Worm’ balloon begins to rise along New York’s Central Park West Wednesday
If the winds do reach unacceptable thresholds, the NYPD will either request the balloons fly at a lower height, or not fly at all.
‘It´ll be a game-day decision on what we´re going to do with the balloons’, Chief of Department Terence Monahan said at a Wednesday briefing on the police department’s parade safety measures.
The last time the parade’s balloons were grounded due to weather concerns was in 1971, reports the New York Times.
It doesn’t look like it, but that’s the ‘Trolls’ balloon from the Dreamworks movie franchise, cartoons and collectibles world before the start of the inflation process on Wednesday
Parade volunteers work on a ‘Trolls’ balloon from the Dreamworks movie franchise, cartoons and collectibles world during the inflation process on Wednesday
Parade volunteers ready a ‘Trolls’ balloon from the Dreamworks movie franchise, cartoons and collectibles world for a helium fill up on Wednesday
The ‘Trolls’ balloon from the Dreamworks movie franchise, cartoons and collectibles world gets special attention from several volunteers during the inflation process on Wednesday
If the balloons are allowed to fly this year, the intensity of the wind will determine how high they soar. Each balloon has a distinct risk profile, which factors in its size and weight and details the optimal altitude for a given wind speed.
The character balloons can go as high as 55 feet (15.8 meters) off the ground and as low as 10 feet (3 meters), said Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison, who has the final say on whether the balloons fly.
A volunteer worker is spotted working on the ‘Green eggs and Ham’ balloon from the classic Dr. Seuss children’s book during the inflation process on Central Park West Wednesday
DINO, the Sinclair Oil mascot, is pictured along Central Park West on Wednesday after being filled with helium for the parade. The original version of this dinosaur balloon was inducted into the Museum of Natural History in 1975. The current version returned to the parade in 2015, nearly 40 years after its debut
Nothing wimpy about this balloon! That’s the Greg Heffley character from the popular children’s book series, @Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ inflated and ready to fly for Thursday’s parade
If the wind picks up and handlers struggle to keep control of a balloon, potentially putting spectators in harm´s way, Harrison said it will be taken to a side street off the parade route and safely deflated.
‘At the end of the day, public safety is paramount and we want everybody to enjoy the event’, he said.
‘The Grinch that stole Christmas’ from the beloved Dr. Seuss children’s book of the same name is pictured full of helium along Manhattan’s Central Park West and ready to fly for the parade
Olaff from the Disney movie franchise ‘Frozen’ is pictured lying on down on the job after being inflated on Wednesday along New York’s Central Park West in preparation for the parade
Pokemon’s Pikachu lies on his side with a friend, ready to fly for Thursday’s annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade