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1010 WINS

New Thanksgiving Parade floats unveiled at Macy's Balloon Fest in NJ

November 03, 2018 - 1:56 pm

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- Macy’s unveiled the new balloons that will be in its Thanksgiving Day Parade at the annual Balloon Fest in New Jersey.

Windy weather posed a bit of a challenge for handlers as they tested the new balloons at MetLife Stadium on Saturday morning.

Macy’s had moved up the Balloon Fest to avoid the high winds, but only two of the six new balloons made it around the parking lot.

One of those balloons is the latest in the Blue Sky artist collaboration. It’s by art duo FriendsWithYou and is called “Little Cloud.”

“It is a little cloud that’s got the most darling smile and rosy cheeks that is going to bring sunshine to the parade,” Macy’s Parade Studio VP John Piper said.

Piper says there are also unique “balloonicles” that travel on wheels.

Among the balloonicles is a 12-foot-diameter, inflatable bowling ball that's chasing six 14-foot-high, inflatable bowling pins.

They were tested out along with large, flying balloons like Japanese anime character Goku from Dragon Ball.

Piper says fans have been asking for Goku.

“He’s a really cool balloon with all this muscle, and he’s in this fighting pose,” Piper said. “Coming down the street with his hair that looks like, to me, it’s almost like lightning.”

Popular balloons like Toothless, Charlie Brown and Olaf from the Disney movie “Frozen” are also making a return.

Macy’s Executive Producer Susan Tercero says it takes a lot of coordination and manpower on the part of handlers.

“One of the largest balloons is going to have about 90 people,” Tercero told 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman. “The majority of them are experienced. We have some people who have as many as 30 years.”

Although Saturday weather was a problem even for the most veteran handlers, the handlers said they’d happily trade the morning’s rain and wind for a beautiful parade day on Thursday, Nov. 22.

1010 WINS is the official radio station of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.