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Thursday, November 25, 2021

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

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The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will get individuals excited — no less than judging by among the responses I obtained once I posted on social media final week that I might be marching with the Pikachu balloon.

Rising up, I typically watched the parade on tv. I’ve fond reminiscences of a Sesame Avenue float, a obscure 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 had 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 have to be to tug off a profitable parade. A yr and a half in the past, I began in search of a method 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 nearly seems like a whisper community, it’s worthwhile to know somebody who is aware of somebody — by a former colleague who had marched many occasions. I advised her I used to be eager about becoming a member of in and he or she helped me turn out to be a volunteer on her crew this yr.

Credit score…Idris Solomon for The New York Instances

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 system used to carry and tow the traces 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 a protracted day, fortunately, if forecasts are appropriate, with delicate climate. I must examine in at 7:15 a.m. and can doubtless not be performed 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 Instances. However I dutifully visited my mom on Wednesday afternoon, requested her to maintain a watch out for me on tv and promised I might eat loads once I arrived.

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