November 30, 2021

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A Day within the Lifetime of a Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Handler

A Day in the Life of a Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Handler

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will get individuals excited — not less than judging by a number of the responses I obtained once I posted on social media last week that I’d be marching with the Pikachu balloon.

Rising up, I typically watched the parade on tv. I’ve fond recollections of a Sesame Avenue float, a imprecise recollection of 1 with Marvel heroes and villains, and I used to be at all times in awe of the Superman balloon. (It turns on the market have been three. The final Man of Metal balloon made his closing parade look in 1987.)

However as a toddler I by no means gave a second thought to what a manufacturing it should be to drag off a profitable parade. A 12 months and a half in the past, I began searching for a technique to take part. (I first tried to do it final 12 months, 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 nearly looks like a whisper community, it is advisable to know somebody who is aware of somebody — by a former colleague who had marched many occasions. I instructed her I used to be occupied with becoming a member of in and he or she helped me turn out to be a volunteer on her group this 12 months.

Credit score…Idris Solomon for The New York Occasions

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: “dealing with bone.” That’s the machine 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 Large Apple expertise, although it’ll be an extended day, fortunately, if forecasts are right, with delicate climate. I must examine in at 7:15 a.m. and can doubtless 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 Occasions. However 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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