Parade Balloons Will Fly After All

Winds cooperate with NYC festivities

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Nov 28, 2013 8:24 AM CST

(Newser) – 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.

Scores braved the rains to see the inflation of the balloons for the Macy's Parade on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 in New York.
Scores braved the rains to see the inflation of the balloons for the Macy's Parade on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 in New York.   (Bebeto Matthews)
Technicians wear rain suits while inflating the Macy's Parade Aflac balloon, on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 in New York.
Technicians wear rain suits while inflating the Macy's Parade Aflac balloon, on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 in New York.   (Bebeto Matthews)
The Macy's Parade Snoopy balloon is partially inflated on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 in New York.
The Macy's Parade Snoopy balloon is partially inflated on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 in New York.   (Bebeto Matthews)
Balloon handlers wait for protective netting to be removed from a giant Sonic the Hedgehog balloon before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York.
Balloon handlers wait for protective netting to be removed from a giant Sonic the Hedgehog balloon before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Balloon handlers wait before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York.
Balloon handlers wait before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A balloon handler smiles as protective netting is removed from a giant Sonic the Hedgehog balloon before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York.
A balloon handler smiles as protective netting is removed from a giant Sonic the Hedgehog balloon before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A zebra-costumed marcher is followed by the Julius the monkey balloon on its way down New York's Central Park West in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.
A zebra-costumed marcher is followed by the Julius the monkey balloon on its way down New York's Central Park West in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
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