By Carol Tannenhauser
When Macy’s announced in September that the Thanksgiving Day Parade will once again be a live event this year, with balloons parading through the city to the midtown store, it left the return of the annual balloon inflation event “up in the air.”
Now, Macy’s has announced that the public will once again be able to witness the filling of the parade’s iconic characters, in the following release:
Macy’s signature giant character balloons will be prepared for their Thanksgiving Day flights on Wednesday, November 24, on the Upper West Side. The Macy’s Balloon Inflation Celebration will be open to public viewing from 12:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M., and will be limited to vaccinated guests and conducted with capacity limits to ensure social distancing practices are implemented.
For access, guests must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in the form of one of the following:
Original CDC Vaccination Card
Mobile Vaccination App (such as the NYC COVID Safe App, CLEAR Health Pass, NY State Excelsior Pass)
Photo of their Vaccination Card
Guests must also provide a photo ID with a name that matches the proof of vaccination. A negative test will not be accepted in lieu of vaccinated status. Children under the age of 12 who are not eligible to receive vaccinations may be accompanied by a vaccinated adult [note: children 5-11 are now eligible to get the vaccine but are unlikely to have received both shots by the time of the event]. Attendees are encouraged to social distance and masks will be required at all times. Entry to Balloon Inflation can be accessed at 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue. Following the vaccine verification and security check, guests will be able to move through the checkpoint to view the balloons on 77th and 81st Streets.
Macy’s also released the following details about the parade route and public viewing:
For spectators wishing to enjoy the spectacle live, the 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9:00 A.M., kicking off from its traditional starting line at 77th Street and Central Park West. From there the procession will march down its signature 2.5-mile route taking it from Central Park West to Columbus Circle, turning onto Central Park South and then marching down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square.
Public viewing will be set up along designated portions of the route and managed by the NYPD. Spectators should avoid bringing large bags, umbrellas, backpacks and strollers. The public entering viewing streets may be subject to security search. For additional viewing information, please visit macys.com/parade.