Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade may need to ground its giant balloon characters because of bad weather

The Pikachu balloon lies face down after being inflated at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2017. Stephanie Keith/Getty
  • New York City is expecting wind speeds of up to 22 mph on Thanksgiving Day.
  • If winds sustain a speed at 23 mph, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade may need to ground its balloons throughout the march.

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade may be more underwhelming than usual, as organisers could have to ground the balloons due to high winds.

The Central Park area in New York City is forecast to get northwesterly winds between 15 to 25 knots (17 to 23 mph), with gusts of up to 30 knots (34.5 mph) on Thursday, the National Weather Service reported.

If winds sustain a speed of 23 mph and gusts surpass 34 mph, Macy’s character balloons and heritage balloons will not be able to fly throughout the parade, the New York Post reported.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2015
A Power Ranger afloat during the 2015 parade. James Kosur / Business Insider

As per tradition, the parade will kick off in Central Park West at 9 a.m. local time and end at the Macy’s department store in Herald Square.

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AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dave Dombek told the Post: “It’s going to be very close to that threshold, likely right below it.”

This year’s line-up will feature 16 giant character balloons, 43 heritage balloons, 26 floats, 1,200 cheerleaders and dancers, more than 1,000 clowns, and 12 marching bands. Performers include John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, and Diana Ross.

More than 3.5 million people are expected to watch the event on the street, the local ABC7 news channel reported.

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