What Balloon Has Flown The Most in Macy's

What Balloon Has Flown The Most in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade?

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a celebrated event that has become an enduring tradition in America for nearly a century.

While the parade is filled with incredible floats, one of the most beloved elements of the parade is the colorful collection of balloons that float overhead. 

But what balloon has flown the most in Macy’s? Read on to find out.

Which Balloon Has Appeared The Most At Macy’s Parade?

Macy's Big Star Balloon

The most iconic balloon to appear at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is undoubtedly Snoopy [1]. 

Snoopy has participated in the parade since 1968 and is the longest-running character to grace the Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

It is often seen in his signature flying ace costume and is usually seen soaring higher than any of the other balloons. 

Besides, he is often accompanied by Woodstock and symbolizes hope and joy, reminding viewers of the classic Peanuts cartoons.

Which Balloon In The Macy’s Parade Is The Oldest?

The Felix the Cat balloon is the oldest balloon in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

This beloved character has been a part of the parade since 1927 and is the oldest balloon ever to participate. 

“She would stay on the road and in hiding, a balloon floating through the sky, eating up hundreds of miles a day with a help of the perpetual tailwind.”

John Green, American Author

Felix the Cat was the first balloon introduced in the parade and has been a part of it for decades. 

And it is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols of the parade, and its presence has been a source of joy for millions of parade viewers.

Check out these steps to make your balloons float without using helium here.

What Is the Oldest Float That Macy’s Has?

The oldest float that Macy’s has is the Tom Turkey float, which was first introduced in 1973. 

The Tom Turkey float is constructed in the style of a giant bird with a red and yellow feathered head and tail, and it is often seen carrying a pilgrim and a Native American on its back. 

It has been a staple of the parade since its introduction, making it one of the oldest and most beloved floats. 

Every year, the float is given a new look with a variety of decorations added to it. 

Besides, it is a favorite among spectators and has become a symbol of the festivities and spirit of the holiday season.

What’s The Tallest Float In Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

The tallest float in the parade is the Santa’s Sleigh float, which stands at 60 feet tall. It is adorned with life-size reindeer, presents, and a large Santa Claus [2]. 

Aside from that, it is lit up with various colorful lights, and the reindeer move as they pull Santa’s sleigh through the parade. 

The float is a favorite among the parade-goers and is always one of the event’s highlights.

The Santa’s Sleigh float was first introduced in the Macy’s Day parade in 1924 and has been a favorite ever since. 

And recently, it has been updated to feature interactive elements, such as a digital Santa Claus that waves and speaks to the crowd. 

But where can you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade for free?

Does Macy’s Reuse Their Balloons?

The good news is that Macy’s does reuse their balloons for historical significance. After each parade, the balloons are carefully collected, inspected, and stored for future use. 

The balloons are filled with helium and stored in large containers, then delivered to the parade site along with the inflated balloons. 

Hence, Macy’s recycles and reuses their balloons to be environmentally conscious and reduce waste. 

Have Any Balloons Ever Escaped From The Macy’s Parade?

Smurf Floating  Balloon

Yes, balloons have escaped from Macy’s parade. In the early days of the parade, the helium-filled balloons were uncontrollable and not tethered down. 

Because of the strong winds that can occur during the event, some of the larger balloons have broken free from the handlers. 

One example was in 1927 in Manhattan; some of the massive balloons were punctured, deflated, and blown away. 

Since then, the Macy’s parade has taken extra precautions to ensure the balloons remain on course, such as using more handlers and tethering the balloons to the ground.

Find out where Macy’s blew up their balloons for the Thanksgiving parade here.

What Is The Cost To Put A Balloon In The Macy’s Parade?

The average cost of producing a balloon for the parade is around $90,000. 

It includes the cost of the helium, the materials used to make the balloon, the labor to construct and inflate the balloon, and the cost of transport and insurance.

Plus, getting the balloon ready for the parade can add thousands of dollars to the bill. 

To transport the balloons to the parade, they must be inflated and secured to a vehicle. This usually involves multiple people, which adds to the cost.

Also Read: How Much Do Balloons Cost At Disney World?


Which character-themed balloons are featured in the Macy’s parade?

Some popular balloons that float through the parade yearly include SpongeBob SquarePants, Snoopy, Paw Patrol, Ronald McDonald, Papa Smurg, and Pikachu.

What are the balloons filled in the Macy’s Day parade?

The balloons in the Macy’s Day parade are typically filled with helium, which allows them to float through the sky but soon changes to polyurethane. 

Check out these tips on making your balloons float without helium here.

Does the Macy’s parade have a Grinch balloon?

Yes, the Macy’s parade does have a Grinch balloon. The Grinch balloon has become a staple of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since it first debuted in 1997.

How many balloons are featured in the Macy’s parade?

The Macy’s parade features over 16 giant balloons in its annual procession. These balloons are of varying shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a colorful and exciting sight.

But how many balloons do you need to create a garland?

Wrapping Up

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a beloved holiday tradition, and no parade is complete without the colorful balloons that fill the sky. 

After almost a century of parades, one balloon has inevitably flown the most – the iconic and beloved Snoopy balloon. 

Since 1968, Snoopy has been a staple of the parade, and each year, he brings joy to countless spectators.

He is a symbol of joy, fun, and hope that will endure for many more years to come.


Kimberlee Johnson
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