For many, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the kickoff of the holiday season. Now in its 90th year, the Manhattan spectacle is a tradition with a big audience. The live broadcast attracts 50 million TV viewers, and 3.5 million spectators watch it in person, pushing the total number of people in Manhattan to more than 5 million.
Some say the balloons are the highlight of the parade. Balloon size, the volume of helium, gross weight and wind determine how high the balloon can be flown.
In terms of construction floats and balloons are constructed at the Macy’s Parade Studio in Moonachie, NJ. A single float can include 100 to 200 pounds of glitter. Floats must be built to collapse down to a width of 8.5 feet so they can fit through Lincoln Tunnel to get from NJ to NY.
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