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
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)
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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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