Balloons fly amid breezy Thanksgiving parade in New York

Balloons fly amid breezy Thanksgiving parade in New York

The big balloons were flying a bit lower than usual due to the weather, but New Yorkers and visitors to the city were out in force to enjoy the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Astronaut Snoopy, a new version of a long-time parade favourite, was among the giant inflated characters leading the line-up.

Parade officials and the New York Police Department had been keeping an eye on wind gauges along the 2.5-mile parade route that snakes through Manhattan. The balloons are not allowed to fly if it is too windy.

Members of the Texas State University dance team perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Mark Lennihan/AP)
Members of the Texas State University dance team perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Mark Lennihan/AP)

But Macy’s vice president Susan Tercero made an announcement half and hour before the parade started that the balloons would fly, albeit at a lower level.

If wind speeds reach dangerous levels, the 16 helium balloons could still be taken out of the parade.

The balloons have only been grounded once for weather-related reasons, in 1971.

The National Weather Service projected sustained winds of up to 24mph, with gusts of up to 40mph during the parade.

City rules require balloons to be grounded if sustained winds exceed 23mph and gusts exceed 34mph.

The parade, one of the city’s most popular events, features about 8,000 marchers, two dozen floats, and marching bands, ending with an appearance from Santa Claus.

The Snoopy balloon (Mark Lennihan/AP)
The Snoopy balloon (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Among the performers this year are actor Billy Porter of Pose, and singers Celine Dion, Kelly Rowland and Idina Menzel.

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