Snoopy, Spider-Man, and the rest of the iconic balloons have gotten the all-clear to fly between Manhattan skyscrapers at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. There were fears the balloons could be grounded if windy conditions from a storm that snarled holiday travel along the East Coast picked up. But the New York Police Department decided this morning that the winds were calm enough for the 16 giant character balloons to lift off.
The iconic characters wouldn't have been allowed to lift off if sustained winds topped 23mph and gusts exceeded 34mph, 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 spectator. Balloons had only been grounded once in the parade's 87-year history, when bad weather kept them from flying in 1971.