Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Parade 2009

Well there he is; Garfield. We had another great day on the Parkway in 2009. The parade route was changed this year. My guess is this was done to avoid the overlapping traffic lights in front of City Hall where in order to get by you have to bring the balloons down low and horizontal to the ground. Some of the taller floats had to be taken partially apart to get past this spot as well. I remember a pirate ship with a rather tall mast in 2007. So we assembled on 20th near JFK not Market this year.

Here we are in the staging room dressed and ready to go. Our friends Bernadtee and Mike and their daughter Ellen Marie joined us this year. Berhadette and Dave umpire together.

We made our way down to 20th Street about 6:30. Garfield didn't stop off into the parade until almost 8:15. There is a lot of waiting with this job. All but 5 people showed up for Garfield today. I heard that they almost didn't let Elmo go this year because they didn't think they were going to have enough handlers. While waiting we watched Action News and Good Morning America do their broadcasts from down on 20th and JFK. I don't think we go on the news though.
My absolute favorite part of the day is letting kids along the route hold the balloon ropes. Big kids, little kids; they all love it. The parents too love taking pictures of their kids holding the balloons. Some of the kids are really shy and are afraid until they see others doing. Here is one of the dozen or so that I was able to work with today. Our balloon leader (I couldn't get a good picture of him) was awesome this year. He was really into the parade and the crowds and we spun the balloon a lot. The crowd loves that. (So do I).
After the parade the balloon must be deflated. This is done by opening several valves around the balloon and squeezing the air out. They also had leaf blowers sucking the air out. Here is Dave putting some umph into the job. We had a wonderful time (again) and DVR'd it for next Canadian Thanksgiving. We got on TV this year! LOL
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

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