Thanksgiving Day Parade – Inflation Day
ambience: balloon inflation
Hall: Inflation day, the day before Thanksgiving, has become a sort of a insider’s New York event. In a lot of ways, it’s important to people as the parade itself.
Voice: Start filling that up (sounds of balloon being inflated)
On Thanksgiving Eve, the upper west of New York becomes a workshop for laying out and blowing up the giant balloons for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Battalions of volunteers are commandeering pumps, hoses, nets, cables, balloons as thousands of New Yorkers troop by. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Robin Hall is the former Executive Producer of the parade.
Hall: These balloons are complicated devices. They have many hundreds of chambers, many thousands of little valves and zippers and inflation tubes. If you look on that curbing here, how the balloons should be inflated, in what chamber order.
Voice: Left leg, left shoe sole, left sole overlay, left shoe and sock, right leg, right shoe sole…(continues, fades under)
The Thanksgiving Day parade has been an annual New York tradition starting in 1924 and it has only suspended twice, during World War Two. The balloons were added in 1927 and they’ve been a part of it ever since. The first balloon? Felix the Cat.
Hall: They used to let them go, actually. At the end of the parade – this was in the 30s and 40s, they would release them at the end of the parade, put a tag on them that said return to Macy’s for a reward.
Voice: Take this lovely little hose here. You stick it there, you turn it on pretty high, (inflation sounds) Go ahead.
Some tips for holding on to a four story high balloon in tomorrow’s program.
Happy Thanksigiving. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.