The Man Behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


The Hello Kitty balloon is one of three new character balloons and six new floats this year. Photo: CBS 2

As Kermit, Hello Kitty, and Carly Rae Jepsen meander down 6th Avenue in New York City, thousands of onlookers ooh and aah. The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — celebrating its 86th anniversary this year — is as much a Turkey Day tradition as the turkey itself. For most Americans, the spectacle is all over in a few hours.

But for scores of designers and volunteers behind the scenes, the parade has meant months of plans and preparation. Yahoo! News recently interviewed John Piper, the creative director of Macy’s Studio, a “nondescript New Jersey warehouse about 30 minutes outside of New York City” where the float magic happens. He lives 364 days for one.

In the interview, the 30-year parade veteran discusses the worldwide helium shortage, challenges brought on by Superstorm Sandy, and fitting ballons through the Lincoln Tunnel (certain balloons must be disassembled). Watch it on Yahoo! News here.

See also: The Woman Behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, h/t @shelleytibbetts

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