Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade horror stories

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Horror Stories

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the U.S. It started in 1924 and was actually called "The Christmas Parade" - even though it took place on Thanksgiving Day. Americans across the country have been watching it on TV since 1952 ... and boy, have they seen some things.

The biggest attractions are the massive balloons, and while it may not seem thrilling to watch them float down a street, the parade has had its share of exciting (and sometimes scary) moments because of them.

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade horror stories
1929 - A large outdoor float of Captain Nemo makes its way down the street during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, on Nov. 28, 1929. Originally known as the Macy's Christmas Parade, the Thanksgiving Day parade started in 1924. (AP Photo/File)
1930 - The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade passes down Broadway in New York on Nov. 27, 1930. The parade's first giant balloons debuted in 1927. (AP Photo/File)
1933 - The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade makes its way down Broadway in New York City on Nov. 30, 1933. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade marched through New York City for an 87th time on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/File)
1983 - In this handout photo, Miss America Vanessa Williams joins two members of the 1983 McDonald's All-American High School Band in New York, Nov. 22, 1983, in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Leslie Crowley, second from left, and Jeff Hanson, right, both from Utah, are among the 104 high school musicians selected annually to participate in the band. (AP Photo/File)
1940 - In this 1940 handout photo, a helium inflated Superman rises over Times Square to lead the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1940. According to Macy's, in 1929, a newly added safety valve allowed helium to slowly seep out of the balloons as they floated above the city's streets. (AP Photo/File)
1946 - A giant baseball player float moves down Seventh Avenue during the Macy' Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 28, 1946. (AP Photo/John Rooney, File)
1958 - Members of the Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes perform in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York on Nov. 27, 1958. Police reportedly estimated more than 1.2 million people watched the parade in 1958. (AP Photo/John Lindsay, File)
1957 - A giant turkey float squeezes between buildings as the 31st annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade moves down Broadway near 37th Street in New York, Nov. 28, 1957. The parade's first giant balloons debuted in 1927. (AP Photo/John Lindsay, File)
1959 - A helium-filled Popeye balloon participates in the 33rd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Times Square, New York, on Nov. 26, 1959. An estimated 1.3 million people watched the parade in 1959. (AP Photo/File)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Skylanders®, the popular kids video game that brings physical toys to life, is taking flight in the 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time. Fan-favorite Skylanders character Eruptor will join the prestigious collection of balloons at the parade, marking a significant pop culture milestone for the franchise. In this picture, Eruptor is flying around as part of his test flight at City Field on November 8, 2014 in Queens Borough of New York City. To re-create Eruptor’s smoldering physique, artists used more than 40 gallons of florescent paint and five barrels of glitter! (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Activision)
People are reflected on the display glass of a scaled version of Hello Kitty in a plane which made Macy's 2012 Thanksgiving Day Parade, displayed at a press event ahead of the opening of the first ever Hello Kitty exhibition in North America, at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on October 10, 2014. The exhibition 'Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty,' which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the beloved icon from its early beginnings in Japan to eventual worldwide popularity, will run from October 11 to April 26, 2015 at the Japanese American National Museum. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- Season 87 -- Pictured: Sonic the hedgehog balloon -- (Photo by: Eric Leibowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Spiderman floats down 6th Ave in the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- Season 87 -- Pictured: Snoopy and Woodstock balloon -- (Photo by: Eric Leibowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Hello Kitty flying high in her plane at the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- Season 87 -- Pictured: Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon -- (Photo by: Eric Leibowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- Season 87 -- Pictured: Despicable Me 2 float -- (Photo by: Eric Leibowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- Season 87 -- Pictured: Trixie's Dreidel float -- (Photo by: Eric Leibowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] The end of the 2013 Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade along Central Park West in New York City. Santa and Mrs. Claus along with an elf wave happily from their float and Santa's sleigh with reindeer to spread holiday cheer.
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- Season 87 -- Pictured: Santa float -- (Photo by: Eric Leibowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Normani Kordei Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke, Dinah-Jane Hansen and Camila Cabello of 5th Harmony attends the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Jimmy Fallon and Bigbird from 'Sesame Street' attends the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: The Wizard of Oz balloon floats over the streets during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: A clown rides a bicycle float during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: The Enchanting World of Lindt Chocolate float, showcasing the mastery of premium chocolate and featuring Goo Goo Dolls, joins the exclusive lineup of floats in the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Lindt)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Papa Smurf balloon floats over the streets of Manhattan during the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Atmosphere on The Enchanting World of Lindt Chocolate float, showcasing the mastery of premium chocolate, as it joins the exclusive lineup of floats in the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Lindt)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: The Enchanting World of Lindt Chocolate float, showcasing the mastery of premium chocolate and featuring Goo Goo Dolls, joins the exclusive lineup of floats in the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Lindt)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: The Enchanting World of Lindt Chocolate float, showcasing the mastery of premium chocolate and featuring Goo Goo Dolls, joins the exclusive lineup of floats in the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Lindt)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Atmosphere on The Enchanting World of Lindt Chocolate float, showcasing the mastery of premium chocolate, as it joins the exclusive lineup of floats in the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Lindt)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: SpongeBob balloon floats over the streets during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: The Enchanting World of Lindt Chocolate float, showcasing the mastery of premium chocolate and featuring Goo Goo Dolls, joins the exclusive lineup of floats in the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Lindt)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: A view of the Dora the Explorer float with singer Ariana Grande during the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Atmosphere on The Enchanting World of Lindt Chocolate float, showcasing the mastery of premium chocolate, as it joins the exclusive lineup of floats in the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Lindt)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR CRACKER JACK - This Thanksgiving, families will be delighted by the Cracker Jack brand’s float in the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which encompasses the tradition of baseball, the spirit of surprise, family fun, and the essence of Americana with a modern twist. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 in Moonachie, N.J., the Cracker Jack brand's "At the Ball Game Float" was unveiled for the first time. (Photo by Scott Gries/Invision for Cracker Jack/AP Images)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR CRACKER JACK - The Cracker Jack brand unveils its biggest surprise yet - a float in the 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City - combining themes of baseball, the spirit of surprise, family fun and the essence of Americana with a modern twist. A first look at the Cracker Jack brand's "At the Ball Game" float took place on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 in Moonachie, N.J. This year marks the first time PepsiCo has presented a float in the iconic parade. (Photo by Scott Gries/Invision for Cracker Jack/AP Images)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR AFLAC - Macy’s and childhood cancer survivor Austin Freeman, of Atlanta, Ga., unveil the new Aflac Duck Balloonicle for the 88th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade during Balloonfest in New York, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Aflac will donate $2 to the Aflac Cancer Center for every post, share, tweet or re-tweet using the #Duckprints hashtag on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Aflac/AP Images)
The Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger balloon floats above the parking lot at CitiField as it is guided through a practice run by its handlers, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in New York. The balloon will be one of six new characters making its debut at the 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade including Pikachu, Pillsbury Doughboy, Skylanders Eruptor, Thomas the Tank Engine and Paddington. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
The Paddington and Thomas the Tank Engine balloons float above treeline in the parking lot at CitiField, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in New York. The two balloons were taken for practice runs along with four other new character balloons in preparation for the 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Other new characters making their debut at the parade will be Pikachu, Pillsbury Doughboy, Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger and Skylanders Eruptor. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR SABAN BRANDS - Paul Frank's iconic Julius the monkey prepares to take flight with his jumbo jet back at the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision for Saban Brands/AP Images)
People view Seaworld's A Sea of Surprises float during a preview of new Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade floats in Moonachie, N.J., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
The Elf on the Shelf balloon floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in New York, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
The Kermit the Frog balloon floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in New York, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
The Hello Kitty balloon floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in New York, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
People view Seaworld's A Sea of Surprises float during a preview of new Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade floats in Moonachie, N.J., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
EDS NOTE: RETRANSMISSION WITH ALTERNATE TONING. The Santa Claus float rounds Columbus Circle during the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
The Spider-Man balloon floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in New York, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
The balloon of Po, from Kung Fu Panda floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in New York, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Johnny Weir rides a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
The Kung Fu Panda balloon floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011. A jetpack-wearing monkey and a freakish creation from filmmaker Tim Burton are two of the big new balloons that will make their inaugural appearances in front of millions of people at this year's parade. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Tim Burton's B. Boy balloon floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
1958 - Members of the Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes perform in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York on Nov. 27, 1958. Police reportedly estimated more than 1.2 million people watched the parade in 1958. (AP Photo/John Lindsay, File)
1957 - A giant turkey float squeezes between buildings as the 31st annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade moves down Broadway near 37th Street in New York, Nov. 28, 1957. The parade's first giant balloons debuted in 1927. (AP Photo/John Lindsay, File)
1946 - A giant baseball player float moves down Seventh Avenue during the Macy' Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 28, 1946. (AP Photo/John Rooney, File)
1962 - Comedian Jimmy Durante rides on a Jumbo the elephant float during the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Nov. 22, 1962. (AP Photo/File)
1983 - In this handout photo, Miss America Vanessa Williams joins two members of the 1983 McDonald's All-American High School Band in New York, Nov. 22, 1983, in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Leslie Crowley, second from left, and Jeff Hanson, right, both from Utah, are among the 104 high school musicians selected annually to participate in the band. (AP Photo/File)
1929 - A large outdoor float of Captain Nemo makes its way down the street during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, on Nov. 28, 1929. Originally known as the Macy's Christmas Parade, the Thanksgiving Day parade started in 1924. (AP Photo/File)
1930 - The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade passes down Broadway in New York on Nov. 27, 1930. The parade's first giant balloons debuted in 1927. (AP Photo/File)
1959 - A helium-filled Popeye balloon participates in the 33rd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Times Square, New York, on Nov. 26, 1959. An estimated 1.3 million people watched the parade in 1959. (AP Photo/File)
1933 - The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade makes its way down Broadway in New York City on Nov. 30, 1933. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade marched through New York City for an 87th time on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/File)
1940 - In this 1940 handout photo, a helium inflated Superman rises over Times Square to lead the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1940. According to Macy's, in 1929, a newly added safety valve allowed helium to slowly seep out of the balloons as they floated above the city's streets. (AP Photo/File)
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In 1985, poor Kermit the Frog was gutted along Central Park West and almost crashed into spectators as it sailed down. Balloon handlers had to carry what was left of him the rest of the way. He also lost a fight with some trees in 1991 and spent much of the parade looking rather deflated. (Pun 100 percent intended.)

By the way, carrying these airheads is no walk in Central Park. Some of these characters can weigh more than 1,000 lbs!

There was also plenty of pandemonium in 1993. It was the Murphy's Law Parade because anything that could go wrong totally did. High winds pushed the Rex Dinosaur balloon right into a street light that popped his face. Then, an off-duty police officer was reportedly injured when Sonic the Hedgehog crashed into a lamppost. Sonic, the first video game character to ever get a spot in the parade, sadly didn't make it to the end.

A few years later in 1997, handlers lost control of Peter the Rabbit -- but it was the Cat in the Hat that caused the most chaos. The balloon crashed into a streetlamp and launched debris down into the crowd, injuring bystanders.

That wasn't the only balloon that onlookers feared. Everyone's favorite purple dinosaur died on Broadway. Barney's purple crew struggled to keep him steady in the strong winds, but they didn't win against Mother Nature.

Despite these disasters (and a few we didn't mention), more than 3 million people attend the event, while an estimated 50 million tune in to watch it on TV.

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