On Wednesday from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m., Macy’s will inflate the Thanksgiving balloons that will coast down Central Park on Thursday. The map for the inflation is below (click it to enlarge, or download the pdf here). Beware: it can get insanely crowded. Read our piece about how much quieter it was in the olden days.

balloon route 1

On Thursday, the parade itself starts at 9 a.m., but if you want to get a good spot on the parade route, you generally have to get there hours earlier. People who show up at 6 a.m. with children deserve a medal of some sort, or at least a stiff drink. The map’s below (pdf here).

Happy Thanksgiving all! As always, we’re thankful for our readers,and for homemade stuffing, but not in that order.

parade route4

NEWS | 4 comments | permalink
    1. Lucien Desar says:

      The crowd is insane during the balloon inflation but everyone seems to be in good spirits. There probably will be a slightly lesser amount of people because of the weather today.

    2. Cato says:

      I remember when this was a lovely neighborhood event. You could drop in, walk out, come back, all at leisure.

      Then, probably around 20 years ago, the tour buses started arriving. Crowds of camera-toting out-of-towners saturated the local streets. No longer a walk in (or around) the park, it became a challenge.

      Then, of course, the neighborhood stopped being a neighborhood, and this became just another push-and-shove opportunity for the Me-Firsters who now reign supreme in this area. This local alternative to seeing the actual parade live has become so unpleasant that it’s no alternative at all.

      And the parade itself, of course, is like moon landings (for those who remember them) — intended, designed and planned to be watched on TV. Only.

      Ah, progress.

      • webot says:

        sounds more like just getting older, like the rest of us.

        and maybe just maybe less tolerant.

        The past was not always better, we were just younger…

    3. Sean says:

      It’s the magic of Macy’s.