Who doesn’t love hearing about the characters heading to New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? The 2019 lineup includes brand mascots making parade appearances as balloons, balloonicles, and floats. Some balloons are new to this year’s parade, while others are beloved fan favorites. Let’s see which iconic characters will be taking flight!
Smokey Bear is back at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! The USDA Forest Service’s wildfire icon last appeared at the parade in 1993. His return celebrates more than Smokey’s 75th birthday. Smokey’s presence is a reminder that “Only YOU can prevent wildfires” and that everyone can take personal responsibility in preventing wildfires.
Smokey’s giant balloon is 51 feet tall, which is as high as a four-story building. 40 handlers will help keep Smokey floating high. No easy feat, if you consider Smokey is also 16 feet long and 25 feet wide!
Hoo hoo — our favorite helper to bakers everywhere is back! Millions of Americans enjoy Pillsbury staples, including crescent rolls, on Thanksgiving Day. Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy, made his giant balloon debut in 2009. Since then, his balloon has giggled its way through the Macy’s Parade route. 90 handlers will be hanging onto the Doughboy, who is larger-than-life at 46 feet tall (as high as a four-story building).
We’re not clowning around: this is Ronald McDonald’s 18th appearance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! The McDonald’s Chief Happiness Officer will have his giant balloon accompanied by the Big Red Shoe Car float. What’s that shoe size again? It’s a men’s size 266 — one pretty big clown shoe to fill!
You could say Dino, the Apatosaurus representing Sinclair Oil Corporation, has been in the Macy’s Parade since he hatched! He made his giant balloon debut in 1963, just 33 years after the character’s creation. The then-60-foot-tall balloon retired in 1977, and made a roaring comeback in 2015. Now, Dino floats high at 36-feet tall in the air. Three Baby Dinos will roam the Parade route on land in a balloonicle. (What’s a balloonicle again? It’s a hybrid cold air balloon with a self-propelled vehicle.)
This is the Aflac spokesduck’s ninth Macy’s Parade appearance! The Aflac Duck first made his debut in the 2011 Macy’s Parade. Originally, the Aflac Duck wore a green and red scarf. As part of his balloonicle, he rode a sled as he floated down the Parade route. Now, he wears a blue and white scarf with wings clasped around a glowing red heart.
Harvest in the Valley, the Green Giant’s float, made its Parade debut just two years ago in 2017. That makes it the youngest character float in our roundup! Surrounded by vegetable crops, including green beans and corn, the Green Giant and his delicious, bountiful harvest of eats, is the perfect character and float to include in the Macy’s Parade.
Tune in to NBC on November 28th, 2019 and watch the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live!