Macy's Parade Floats Get a Test Run Ahead of Thanksgiving Day

Playing Behind the Scenes of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

With tens of millions of people expected to tune into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade next Thursday, it's essential to ensure the floats work.

So ahead of the parade, members of Macy's expert "flight management team" tested out the newest, mega-size floats during BalloonFest at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Nov. 3.

It took months — and in some cases, more than a year — to get to the final test run, said John Piper, vice president of production at Macy's Parade Studio.

"Before, we’re working on the new designs for the balloons, and through the year, the designs go to models, models go to patterns, patterns go to fabric, and [they're] seamed together and finally today we inflate them and see them come to life," he said.

"It’s the team of artists and craftspeople that we have working ... at the studio that bring all of these wonderful floats and balloons and props and costumes to life. And they put their heart and soul into each and every one of them."

Among the new additions to the lineup are Goku, the star of "Dragon Ball Super: Broly," and several of the elves from Netflix's "The Christmas Chronicles." They'll be joining old favorites, including Charlie Brown, SpongeBob Squarepants and Pikachu, at next week's parade in New York City.

Piper said when it comes to selecting new floats to add, the ideas "come from the kids – and it doesn't matter how old they are."

Susan Tercero, the parade's executive producer, said the floats will be a sight to behold next week.

"These things are huge so when you’re standing there and you’re enjoying the parade and all the confetti and all the noise from the bands and the crowd ... seeing these balloons come across the sky – it really is a beautiful sight," she said.

The 92nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will air starting at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, Nov. 22, on CBS. 

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