Due to legal reasons, I wasn't allowed to release this information until now.....

Never in a million years did I think I would be lucky enough to have the opportunity to be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!
Volunteering for the Macy's parade is so much more involved than one would think. Starting in early October, I have been attending classroom information sessions and weekend balloon trainings.  We were sent to Macy's head quarters on 34th Street Herald Square and were given parade instruction manuals as our bibles to live by from that day forward. The packet covers everything from the balloons' aerodynamics to what to wear on parade day (always keep a smile). We even had a balloon assignment night (basically like balloon christmas) where the pilots and heads of balloon teams were distributed envelopes with a picture of the balloon that they would be teamed with (Macy's was nice enough to let me sit in). 

Above is myself pictured at balloon assignment night pictured with one of the new balloons this year!

Pictured to the left is the balloon manual and the dinner provided by Macy's to all the volunteers on our first night of classroom training back in October. Since day one, this experience has been nothing but amazing.

After classroom training, we then had a balloon training session at the Meadowlands parking lot for the MetLife stadium in New Jersey. A big giant parking lot to practice  inflating big giant helium balloons. The little girl inside of me was secretly dying realizing the amazing opportunity I was lucky enough to have this year.

Who would have ever thought I would get to join in on such an amazing event just a few years after moving to NYC. It is all still a dream to me.

After a practice round with Petula the Pig and Happy the Christmas Hippo, we then practiced deflating as well which you wouldn't think would be that exciting but it is the greatest thing ever. Imagine a GIANT helium balloon with 30 people lying (and rolling and playing) on top of it to deflate it. Yeah, freaking amazing. Of course we all made sure it is safe and won't damage the balloon, but we sure as hell had fun doing so.

Than, about a month after that, we then had Balloon Fest 2013 where everyone who volunteered came to inflate the 4 new balloons this years. Even NBC came to film the fun. 

I have met so many amazing people through this opportunity from all parts of the US and all equally as excited to be part of such an amazing event. Who ever thought I would be handling a balloon (and even just volunteering) with the head tie buyer for Macy's or maybe even someone who works with Cartoon Network on Spongebob or Adventure Time. 
(Volunteers are usually from Macy's stores around the US and students from Stevens University where my boyfriend attends but I have also heard that sponsor companies send a lucky few to handle their balloons)  

So which balloon am I on do you ask? Just look out for a smiling redhead having the time of her life on the rear vehicle of the Papa Smurf balloon

11/27/2013 5:13am

Fantastic sweetheart. We are so proud of you. Love you


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