If you tune into the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to see which characters will be floating high above in balloon-like form, then I am afraid I may have some bad news for you. With stormy conditions bearing down on the northeast, including New York City, winds could force that part of the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to be cancelled.
That means that Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog, Shrek, Charlie Brown and others may be grounded this Thanksgiving.
The iconic characters that soar between the Manhattan skyscrapers every year may not hover over spectators on Thursday if sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph, according to city rules enacted after fierce winds in 1997 caused a Cat in the Hat balloon to topple a light pole and seriously injure a female spectator.
Current forecasts call for sustained winds of 20 mph and gusts of 36 mph. That is not good for business. Well, not for those in the balloon business, at the very least, as well as those who will brave the travel and stormy conditions to attend the parade in person.
“At this time, it is too early to make any determinations on the flight of the giant balloons,” said Macy’s spokesman Orlando Veras. “On Thanksgiving morning, Macy’s works closely with the NYPD, who, based on real time weather data and the official regulations, determine if the balloons will fly and at what heights.”
In the 87-year history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the balloons have only been grounded once, way back in 1971. Inclement weather was also the cause for the grounding that year.
With that being said, I am sure that parade-goers and viewers will not let the wind spoil their day or the festivities. Although, as someone who has watched this even every year for more than 30 years, I have to say that it will not be the same without the likes of Snoopy, Woodstock, Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear and others.