The Latest: Officials optimistic balloons will fly in parade

National & World News

A volunteer shoulders a helium hose as balloons are inflated Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, the day before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The parade on Thursday will take place amid strong winds that could potentially ground the giant character balloons. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) – The Latest on the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (all times local):

7:40 a.m.

New York City officials say a decision about the giant balloons at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be made right before the celebration starts.

Outgoing New York City Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill says he’s an “optimist” and is still hopeful the balloons will be featured in this year’s parade.

Parade officials and New York City police are keeping an eye on wind gauges along the 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) parade route that snakes through Manhattan.

If wind speeds reach dangerous levels, the 16 helium balloons including Smokey Bear and Snoopy could be brought down to float at a lower level or taken out of the parade.

The National Weather Service is projecting sustained winds of up to 24 mph (39 kph) with gusts to 40 mph (64 kph) during the parade.


1:10 a.m.

How high will they fly?

That’s going to be the question of the morning on Thursday for the giant balloons at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Parade officials and New York City police are keeping an eye on wind gauges along the 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) parade route that snakes through Manhattan.

If wind speeds reach dangerous levels, the 16 helium balloons including Smokey Bear and Snoopy could be brought down to float at a lower level or taken out of the parade.

The National Weather Service is projecting sustained winds of up to 24 mph (39 kph) with gusts to 40 mph (64 kph) during the parade.

City rules require balloons to be grounded if sustained winds exceed 23 mph (37 kph) and gusts exceed 34 mph (55 kph).

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