New York residents watched on Wednesday as personnel began the six-hour process of inflating the famous characters that were preparing to fly in the 95th annual, iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The balloons are BACK! You can watch them get inflated before the #MacysParade Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Stop by 72nd Street and Columbus Ave until 6 PM today. You must be vaccinated to watch! pic.twitter.com/OFOhowFl5l
— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) November 24, 2021
Marchers step off Thursday morning at 9 am on the Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan.
The pre-parade event began Wednesday at 12 noon with preparation of balloons, lined up on 77th and 81st Streets.
Don't miss all your friends from the neighborhood tomorrow at the 95th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Whether you're watching from home or bundling up like @BertSesame and @SesameErnie, we hope you have a blast! #MacysParade @Macys pic.twitter.com/SDatnD28tT
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) November 24, 2021
Among the characters to grace this year’s parade are “Baby Yoda” from Disney’s “The Maladorian,” Ronald McDonald and Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee.
The parade’s executive producer, Will Cross, told The New York Post, “We can’t wait to help New York City and the nation kick off the holiday season with the return of this cherished tradition.”
Spectators at the balloon inflation event were required to wear masks at all times, and comply with social distancing protocols in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions.
Visitors ages 12 and up were also required to show proof of vaccination at checkpoints to the event. Proof of a negative PCR test was not accepted, although children ages 11 and under were allowed in with a vaccinated adult.