A Day within the Life of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Handler – MajorUpdates

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will get people excited — at the least judging by a few of the responses I obtained once I posted on social media that final week that I’d be marching with the Pikachu balloon.

Growing up, I usually watched the parade on tv. I’ve fond reminiscences of a Sesame Street float, a imprecise recollection of 1 with Marvel heroes and villains, and I used to be all the time in awe of the Superman balloon (It turns on the market have been three. The final Man of Steel balloon made his ultimate parade look in 1987.)

But as a baby I by no means gave a second thought to what a manufacturing it have to be to drag off a profitable parade. A yr and a half in the past, I began on the lookout for a strategy to take part. (I first tried to do it final yr, however Covid curtailed the size of the parade, the balloons, the volunteers and the onlookers.)

I used to be introduced into the ranks of balloon handlers — it virtually looks like a whisper community, that you must know somebody who is aware of somebody — by a former colleague who had marched many instances. I instructed her I used to be serious about becoming a member of in and he or she helped me change into a volunteer on her crew this yr.

Credit…Idris Solomon for The New York Times

The sign-up course of concerned importing my proof of vaccination, watching a coaching video within the correct care of balloon dealing with and extra. I added a brand new phrase to my vocabulary: “handling bone.” That’s the system used to carry and tow the strains that ease the balloons down the parade route and, later, to the deflating space.

As a local New Yorker, I’m keen to participate in such a Big Apple expertise, although it’ll be a protracted day, fortunately, if forecasts are right, with delicate climate. I must test in at 7:15 a.m. and can possible not be achieved till after 12:30 p.m.

My one fear, as a momma’s boy, was being late to my household’s Thanksgiving lunch, a convention which stems from a time when my sister and I labored night shifts at The New York Times. But I dutifully visited my mom on Wednesday afternoon, requested her to maintain an eye fixed out for me on tv and promised I’d eat lots once I arrived.

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