It’s a time-honored tradition for many to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but this year it could be missing a key element: its 16 giant character balloons. Officials in New York City may have to ground the iconic balloons due to windy conditions. They cannot be flown when sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph, per city regulations.
In 1997, the iconic Cat in the Hat balloon injured four people after being overtaken by strong winds. The following year, city officials instituted new regulations for grounding the giant balloons.
The National Weather Service is currently forecasting sustained winds of 22 mph and wind gusts of 39 mph during the parade. The sustained winds do not exceed the regulations, but the gusts do. Officials will have to monitor wind conditions and decide whether to allow the balloons to be flown.
As you may recall, last year’s parade caused screaming by the usual haters due to a brief same-sex smooch during a performance from the Broadway musical, The Prom.