It’s that very special time of year again on the Upper West Side, so get your warm clothes on, make sure the kids have gone to the bathroom (because we’re not stopping for bathroom breaks, sweetie!), and get ready. The maps below show the route for Wednesday’s balloon inflation and Thursday’s parade.
As for the inflation: “Arrive early to beat the crowds. By 5 pm the majority of balloons have begun to take shape and by 9 pm all are usually inflated.”
There are four new balloons—Scrat and his Acorn from Ice Age; Ronald McDonald (in his fourth incarnation); the Red Angry Bird; and the DINO™ by Sinclair Oil. DINO was a parade favorite in the ’60s and ’70s but hasn’t been in the parade in 40 years; next year is Sinclair Oil’s centennial, so he’s back and he’s apparently the only life-sized balloon in the parade!
Of course, other beloved balloons are back: Hello Kitty, Pikachu, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Spongebob Squarepants, the Kool-Aid Man.
If you go to either event, please send us photos! And to reminisce about how the balloon inflation used to be, check out this lovely column.