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71st Macy's parade rolls through New York

Spiderman crawls along the parade route   
November 27, 1997
Web posted at: 11:21 a.m. EST (1621 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A windy Thanksgiving deflated balloons and caused four injuries at the 71st annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday.

Wind blew a balloon into a light post which hit four people when it fell. Two women with serious head injuries were taken to a hosptial.

A L S O :

4 hurt when wind-whipped, giant balloon topples pole

Gusty wind shredded the Fish balloon and damaged the Pink Panther, which was quickly repaired. They were among 17 giant balloons used in the parade. Spokesman Jim Arnold said pilots kept the balloons flying at one story high to keep them in better control -- instead of three to four stories high.

At times, the effect of the low flying balloons was startling. Spiderman appeared to be crushing his handlers as he glared eye-to-eye at those along the parade route. At least 1 million people were expected to line the streets to watch the festivities.

Scenes from the parade
video icon 355K/38 sec./160x120
QuickTime slideshow

The tradition began in 1924 with a handful of Macy's workers who wanted to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. Seven decades later, more than four thousand Macy's employees marched south on the two and a half mile route.

The parade began at the American Museum of Natural History. The route continued south on Central Park West to Columbus Circle, and then to Broadway, where it ended at the flagship store in Herald Square.

Swedish cow Bumpe makes its debut   

Along with the perennial favorites, this parade featured three brand new giant helium air sculptures of Arthur (an aardvark), Bumpe (a Swedish cow) and Ms. Petula Pig, as well as a giant three-character helium balloon of the Rugrats cartoon characters.

The parade also welcomed two new falloons, special Macy's hybrids of floats and balloons. These falloons are: Dr. Seuss's Grinch and the World of Wiggle, a falloon made of Jell-O.

There were also four new floats: Anastasia (celebrating an upcoming animated musical film), Annabelle's Wish (the tale of Annabelle, a little calf who wants to fly and Billy, a boy in need of a miracle), Mr. Peanut's Circus (the Planter's character with circus animals), and The Future From Here (a globe surrounded by 24 children depicted in a variety of careers that may lie in their future.)

The festivities included 17 giant balloons, 18 novelty balloons, 21 floats, 6 toy floats, 7 falloons, 14 marching bands, 44 Clown units, and many stars from stage, screen, and television.


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