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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: The Charlie Brown balloon lies face down after being inflated by the Macy's inflation team ahead of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place tomorrow as scheduled, but all of the action may be on the ground.

Since 1997, when gusts blew a giant Cat In The Hat float out of control, New York City has been careful not to allow balloons to fly on days when high winds may be an issue.

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See the original 1993 report on Sonic the Hedgehog: On a very blustery Thanksgiving Day in New York City in 1997, the iconic Cat in the Hat balloon got caught up in some strong wind gusts, and mayhem ensued. Winds are a threat for the 2019 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.


As seen in the above news report from 1997, the winds that year caused the inflatable Cat in the Hat to blow out of control, causing an accident that left one woman in a coma for nearly a month.

According to the New York Times, Macy’s has a licensed meteorologist, who is “armed with a laptop and an open line to the National Weather Service, on hand every year to observe weather conditions, monitor gusts and help make decisions about the floating characters in the procession.”

Per city regulations, the giant balloons cannot fly at all if there are sustained winds above 23 miles per hour or if gusts exceed 34 m.p.h.

The Times reports that even if winds are high, Macy’s still plans to bring out 40 smaller inflatable figures, which will are more easily controlled than the giant ones that they usually use (and which can be difficult to control under the best of circumstances).  The final decision on whether the parade’s giant balloons get pulled from the lineup won’t be made until Thursday morning.