Balloons inflated for Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

[anvplayer video=”5149550″ station=”998132″]

Millions of spectators are expected to line the streets of New York on Thursday, as high-flying balloons — such as Bluey, the Australian cattle pup, and Stuart, the one-eyed Minion — help usher in the holiday season during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

On Wednesday, around 100 volunteers gathered to inflate the balloons, pumping them full of helium with giant hoses.

Inflation is done carefully and piece by piece with every balloon to prevent damage.

Mostly sunny skies and a slight breeze are expected for the annual tradition that dates back nearly a century.

This year’s parade — the 96th annual — will feature 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns, 10 performance groups and, of course, Santa Claus.

The Macy’s parade has been a traditional holiday season kickoff and spectators often line up a half-dozen deep along the route to cheer the marchers, floats, entertainers and marching bands.

Marching bands this year will represent South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, California, New York, South Dakota, Florida, Missouri, Texas and Veracruz, Mexico.


AP Video shot by: Robert Bumsted