Sioux Falls native ready for sixth Thanksgiving Day Parade as balloon handler

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls native is in New York City getting ready to take part in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This will be Adam Peters’ sixth parade working as a handler for the event’s famous balloons.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a holiday tradition for many including Adam Peters, though his memories might be a bit different than yours.

“This year will be my sixth parade that I’ve been in. I am a balloon handler and so what that entails is they randomly assign you every year a big balloon or the big helium balloons,” Peters said.

Peters says it’s really hard to get into the parade as a volunteer. Luckily the 28-year-old had a connection who vouched for him years back.

“Someone sponsored me and kind of once you’re in, you’re in,” Peters said.

Peters first fell in love with New York City back in 2008. We followed along as he attended a Major League Baseball All-Star Game thanks to Make-A-Wish.

He loves going back and can rattle off each balloon he’s had the honor of working with.

“Adventure Time with Finn and Jake. The Grinch balloon I was on a couple years ago. Last year I was on Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This year I’m on Goku,” Peters said.

It’s an incredible experience for someone who watched the event on TV as a kid. His wife Tamara did too and now she gets to her spot on the parade route at 5:30 in the morning to be in the front row.

“Growing up, as a kid you always watched it Thanksgiving Day to see it. Then to actually see it in person is pretty neat. Then it’s always fun waiting for Adam’s balloon to come by and getting to see him in the parade,” Tamara said.

It’s become an up close and personal tradition for the Peters family in New York City.

“The best part is actually when you’re walking the parade and you’re seeing the millions of people that are on the street lined for the parade. Seeing their face light up is just something magical because they’re looking at the balloon and enjoying the parade,” Peters said.

A tradition they hope will float on far into the future.

A lot of the balloons in the parade are made locally by Raven. Peters remembers testing balloons out in Vermillion when he was a kid.

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