West Side Rag’ Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation Event Underway; See the new requirements and where to look

Posted on November 16, 2021 at 8:25 a.m. by West Side Rag

Diagram courtesy of Macy’s.

By Carol Tannenhauser

When Macy’s announced in September that the Thanksgiving Day Parade would be a live event again this year, with balloons parading across town to the downtown store, it let the return of the annual event from inflation of balloons “in the air”.

Now, Macy’s has announced that the public will once again be able to witness the parade’s iconic character fill-in, in the following statement:

Macy’s iconic giant balloons will be prepared for their Thanksgiving Day flights on Wednesday, November 24 on the Upper West Side. Macy’s Balloon Inflation Celebration will be open to the public from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and will be limited to vaccinated guests and conducted with capacity limits to ensure social distancing practices are implemented.

To access, customers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in the form of one of the following documents:
Original CDC vaccination card
Mobile vaccination app (such as NYC COVID Safe app, CLEAR Health Pass, NY State Excelsior Pass)
Photo of their vaccination card

Customers must also provide photo ID with a name that matches proof of vaccination. A negative test will not be accepted in lieu of vaccinated status. Children under 12 not eligible for vaccination may be accompanied by a vaccinated adult [note: children 5-11 are now eligible to get the vaccine but are unlikely to have received both shots by the time of the event]. Attendees are encouraged to respect social distancing and masks will be required at all times. Entrance to Balloon Inflation is accessible at 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue. After the vaccine check and security check, guests will be able to walk through the checkpoint to see the balloons on 77th and 81st streets.

Macy’s also released the following details about the parade route and audience:

For spectators wishing to enjoy the live spectacle, the 95th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9:00 a.m., kicking off from its traditional starting line at 77th Street and Central Park West. From there, the motorcade will follow its signature 2.5-mile route that will take it from Central Park West to Columbus Circle, turning onto Central Park South, then down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue across from Macy’s Herald Square.

Public signage will be set up along designated portions of the route and managed by the NYPD. Spectators should avoid bringing large bags, umbrellas, backpacks and strollers. The public entering the viewing streets may be subject to a security search. For more information on the display, please visit macys.com/parade.