The Funniest Balloon Mishaps In Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade History

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has delighted Americans of all ages with floats, music and balloons since 1924. But the event doesn't always go off without a hitch. When you're hauling massive balloons around the windy streets of New York City, accidents can happen. Here are the funniest balloon mishaps from the last 30 years.

NOTE: No one was seriously hurt during these events.

1. Barney Gets Gored, 1997

Barney the Dinosaur is best known for singing kids songs and teaching fans about sharing. But windy conditions at the 1997 Macy's parade turned him into a purple Godzilla, stomping around Manhattan and terrifying children watching on the sidelines. Much like Icarus, the inflatable Barney's downfall was flying too close to the sun. Well, a streetlight actually. The collision left the balloon with a massive gash along the midsection.

Kids screamed, but anyone who had to endure years of hearing his I Love You song must have chuckled a little.


2. Rex Headbutts a Post

Prehistoric lizards suffered another tragedy during the 1993 Macy's parade. Gusts of wind made Rex the Dinosaur veer off course and head-butt a streetlight, causing his head to pop like bubble wrap.

3. Kermit's Bender

Anyone who's had a rough night out can relate with the Kermit the Frog balloon from the 1991 Macy's parade. But instead of tequila, it was a run-in with a Central Park tree that left the Muppet looking a bit hungover. With shoulders hunched as though he might puke on the parade route at any moment, Kermit somehow managed to complete his walk - er, crawl - of shame.

4. Superman's Lopsided Flight

In the comics, only kryptonite can kill the Man of Steel. But his balloon version is vulnerable to wind and anything pointy, as Macy's organizers discovered during the 1985 parade when an unfortunate run-in with a tree amputated one of Superman's hands.

5. Rudolph's Trepanation

Not every balloon mishap happens at the Macy's parade. In 2010, Richmond, Virginia suffered what one YouTuber described as the "Rudolph Balloon Christmas Parade Tragedy." 

Basically, Santa's leading reindeer got stuck on a streetlight. When organizers tried to pull him free, they popped a hole in his head, causing no real injuries other than emotional damage to the parade's patrons.

"You're tearing Rudolph!" someone in the crowd yelled as others screamed, gasped and moaned. 

6. Batman Bogarts Balloons

The masked vigilante known as 'The Batman' rained terror on a 1989 parade in Gotham City after stealing the event's main attractions. The culprit - whose identity remains unknown - arrived in an unauthorized aircraft and swooped over the parade route, carrying away the  balloons.

"He stole my balloons!" parade organizer Jack Napier said after the vigilante had flown away. "Why didn't somebody tell me he had one of those... things?" he added, referring to the mysterious aircraft.


Banner image: Alexiuz / 


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