NYPD Says Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons Are ‘A Go’: Gothamist

Police officers at the start of the parade today (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP/Shutterstock)

Get ready to see Pikachu, the Sinclair Oil Dinosaur, the Grinch, and other huge balloons floating down NYC streets! After alarming forecasts of gusting winds, this morning NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill has declared that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade “is a go!”

Fox 5 reports, “Sustained winds could reach up to 25 mph. Gusts could reach 35 mph, which could affect flying the giant balloons.” O’Neill gave the go-ahead on the Today Show:

When winds are strong, the balloon handlers—all 1,350, especially those walking with the huge character balloons—do lower the balloons as well as walk towards the windward side while crossing intersections. John Piper, vice president of Macy’s Parade Studio, told us last night, “Every time we come to an intersection, we’re going to make sure it’s clear so we never stop in an intersection, then as we go through, we move to the windward side and come out and straighten up again. That’s something we practice at our trainings.”

The parade starts at 9 a.m. EST, with step-off at Central Park West and West 77th Street and making it’s way to midtown, ending at 34th Street and 6th Avenue (here’s the parade route). NBC is broadcasting it on TV and on its app. NBC and Verizon are teaming up to stream a 360 parade experience on YouTube.

It’s also really cold:

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[6:33 am Thursday]: Temperatures as the sun begins to rise are in the teens to near 20 degrees. Blustery NW winds are making it feel like it is in the single digits. Bundle up if you are heading outside today.

— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) November 22, 2018

Stay warm, check on your neighbors, and call 311 with any heat or hot water issues. Happy Thanksgiving.


Spectators try to stay warm (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP/Shutterstock)

Update: We’ve done it—it’s a record cold:

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[Record Cold] Several record low temperatures for 11/22 were tied this AM including Bridgeport, CT (18°), Newark, NJ (19°), JFK (20°), and LGA (21°). All previous records occurred in 1987. Temperatures may fall lower before midnight, thus breaking the records.

— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) November 22, 2018

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