Events Links Resources
The Parade People - Gateway Music Festivals and Tours - Connect With a Pro

News Briefs News Briefs provide news and information on topics related to marching bands and pageantry arts.

Share this page:

View more articles

Suggest a news item
Popular articles

What to expect in the 2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade lineup

COVID-19 affects 2020 fall marching band circuit and state championships

Marching arts pitching in toward COVID-19 battle

25 Halloween-worthy costumes from the marching arts

Jennifer Garner talks marching band technique with Seth Meyers

Opinion: Don't let fake news harm the marching activity

Marching to the chapel: University band members perform in halftime show before their wedding

"Go Band!" Facebook post about team aspect of marching band goes viral

Watch the Ohio State University Marching Band's London performance

Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards to host KTLA Rose Parade coverage for final time

The Horn Section Sculpture

U.S. postage stamp features marching band

Father of Patrick Henry Hughes recognized for extraordinary support

Portland Rose Festival named "best festival"

The Dynamic Marching Band Manual

Marching Band Health Tips

Home > News Briefs > 2013 Macy's Parade Balloons

Giant balloons ready to fly in 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Get up close during Macy's Parade balloon inflation on Thanksgiving Eve

NEW YORK, November 20, 2013 — Let them take flight! On Thanksgiving Day, a new cast of balloon characters and some returning favorites will soar in the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. From a beloved beagle to a fearsome dragon, the Parade's signature balloons are set to thrill millions of spectators. The 2013 parade steps off at 9:00 AM on Thursday, November 28.

Macy's Balloon Inflation Area Map - Click to view larger image The public is invited to observe the Macy's Parade balloon inflation on Thanksgiving Eve. Inflation begins at 3 PM and ends at 10 PM on Wednesday, November 27. The entrance to the balloon inflation viewing area is on Columbus Avenue near 79th Street. Balloons will surround the Museum of Natural History and fill the area from 77th Street to 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

   View the Macy's Parade
   Balloon Inflation Map

Since their first appearance in the 1927 Macy's Parade, balloons have featured a who's-who of the world's most beloved characters. This year's cast is no different with two returning favorites taking a new form and two never before seen characters taking flight. This year, making their debuts will be pop culture sensations Adventure Time with Finn and Jake; the world-famous beagle Snoopy with his pal Woodstock; the eternal undersea optimist SpongeBob SquarePants; and the loveable night fury dragon Toothless from "How to Train Your Dragon."

2013 Macy's Parade Balloon Lineup
Following is the complete listing of balloons in the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Giant Character Balloons

Adventure Time with Finn And Jake
Pop culture sensations Finn and Jake of the hit series Adventure Time take to the sky for the first time. Finn has his sword at the ready and Jake is set to roll against any wizards or evil creatures they may encounter on their journey. Measuring 57-feet long, 26-feet wide and 40- feet tall, Finn and Jake are turbo psyched for an awesome adventure as millions of fans celebrate their maiden voyage.

Buzz Lightyear
Disney*Pixar's superhero Buzz Lightyear returns for his sixth trip down the streets of New York. Toy Story's fearless Inter-galactic Space Ranger measures 67.7-feet long, 39.9-feet wide and 34.3-feet tall. Taking a break from starring in "Toy Story OF TERROR!" with his pals, Buzz will fly from Central Park West to Herald Square...and beyond this Thanksgiving.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Greg Heffley returns once again to the skies of New York City clutching his "diary"/journal, to the delight of millions of kids. At 60-feet long, 25-feet wide, and 56-feet tall, wimpy is not the right word to describe this balloon behemoth. Clutching his precious diary close for comfort and security, Greg is excited to celebrate millions of copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in print and the completion of his eighth book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, this holiday season.

The Elf on the Shelf
The Elf on the Shelf will take his second flight in the Macy's Parade this Thanksgiving. Sent by Santa Claus to watch over good little boys and girls around the world, the Elf on the Shelf will take his reporting duties to new heights, measuring 46-feet tall, 28-feet wide and 64-feet long in the Parade line-up. Reveling in the recent release of his birthday themed book sequel, the Elf on the Shelf is sure to be in an even more celebratory mood than usual!

Hello Kitty
Flying high in her airplane and wearing her trademark red bow, Hello Kitty returns to spread happiness and friendship along the Parade route and into homes across the country. Her retro airplane design is based on one of the first Hello Kitty looks from the 1970s and a visual nod to her 40th Anniversary next year! Hello Kitty flies at 36-feet tall, 38-feet wide and 50-feet long, as she soars over the Big Apple bringing smiles to her millions of fans.

From the world of Paul Frank, check out Julius! Everyone's favorite monkey is rocketing through the streets of New York in style as one of the largest balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade! Measuring 41-feet tall, 65-feet long and 39-feet wide, Julius brings his world-famous smile and awesomeness to millions of fans.

Papa Smurf
Papa Smurf is taking a break from helping Smurfette and the rest of the Smurfs battle evil wizard Gargamel in this past summer's hit film The Smurfs 2, for a return flight on Thanksgiving Day. Jumping for joy and dancing his way down the route, Papa Smurf sports a festive bow tie and baton, as he clicks his heels to the holiday fun. Measuring 51-feet tall, 36-feet wide and 46-feet long, Papa Smurf will help usher in a Happy Smurfgiving to one and all!

Pikachu lights up Thanksgiving once again with its signature electrifying presence and rosy glowing cheeks. Measuring 53.5-feet high, 36.9-feet wide and 40.8-feet long, Pikachu is set to celebrate the holiday season and the massive worldwide launch of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, chasing a Poke-ball down the Parade route.

Pillsbury Doughboy
The Pillsbury Doughboy with his warm smile and world-famous giggle is ready to once again ring in the holidays flying down the streets of Manhattan. Known for bringing families together to share delicious baked treats, the Doughboy will rise to the top and transform from his normal 8 ¾-inch frame to a balloon giant measuring 53.7-feet in long, 34.4-feet wide and 46.4-feet tall.

Ronald McDonald
The world's most famous clown Ronald McDonald returns to the Parade to kick-off the holiday season. Delighting millions of families, Ronald skates down the route, sporting the world's largest pair of ice skates. Measuring 76.4-feet long, 28.8-feet wide and 48.6-feet tall, Ronald is always in a playful mood as he flies through the air smiling at spectators young and old.

Snoopy and Woodstock
The beagle's clinched the title, no question about it, as Snoopy, the world's most famous companion with a wildly imaginative, supremely confident, canine master of disguise personality, returns to the Macy's Parade. The newest Snoopy balloon will take flight along with his pal Woodstock, marking another record-setting stint in the holiday spectacle — his 37th flight and 7th balloon. Measuring 67-feet long, 27-feet wide and 38-feet tall, Snoopy and Woodstock will have Peanuts fans rejoicing at the return of their beloved duo.

Sonic the Hedgehog
With his massive blue spikes, signature white gloves and red sneakers Sonic the Hedgehog is zooming into the atmosphere and causing a blur of activity across the sky! The Parade's first-ever balloon based on a video game character returns for a third flight down Manhattan. Sonic measures 50-feet tall, 55-feet long, and 37-feet wide, as he sprints down the route.

Back to patrol the skyline and protect the citizens of the city is The Amazing Spider-Man! New York's own friendly neighborhood Super Hero takes to the skies over Manhattan to delight millions of kids and adults. Spider-Man, in full wall-crawling action mode with one hand set to release his web, floats down the route measuring 78-feet long, 37.8-feet wide and standing 29.1-feet tall.

Spongebob Squarepants
Holding on to his Christmas hat, SpongeBob SquarePants, the world-famous eternal optimist, returns to the Macy's Parade! The sponge-tastic resident of Bikini Bottom takes a little vacation for a dip in the blue of the New York City's famed skyline to celebrate the start of the holidays. Based on Nickelodeon's hit animated series, SpongeBob continues his run as the first-ever square balloon in the Parade standing at 44-feet tall, 41-feet long and 34-feet wide. His unique and iconic shape is made possible by more than 800 internal tie-lines that pull the single chamber sphere balloon into a square.

This Thanksgiving, a mythical dragon will be spotted over the skies of New York City as millions of spectators catch a glimpse of the fierce but beloved Toothless. Star of the How To Train Your Dragon movies and television series, Toothless measures 72-feet long, 36-feet wide and is 48-feet tall. The color of midnight with glowing green eyes and an enigmatic grin, Toothless is positioned with his giant wings folded in a landing pose ready to descend amongst the gathered crowds.

Special Appearance By...
The Wizard of Oz Hot Air Balloon and Balloonheads
Set to mark the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, a 47-foot tall giant hot air balloon emblazoned with the portraits of the characters from the classic film, will glide down the route carrying the Wizard of Oz himself! Along for the ride below will be Dorothy and special balloonhead characters of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch of the West

In addition to the giant character balloons, the 2013 Macy's Parade ballooning cast will also include:

Arrtie, The Pirate
Aflac Duck
Big Man Santa
Flying Fish
Happy Hippo
Harold the Fireman
Harold the Policeman
Kit, Charlie & C.J. Elf
Kool-Aid Man
Macy's Stars
Macy's Ornament Balloons/Balloonicles/Balloonheads
Bulldog & Tough Guy / Nutcracker & Mouse King Trycaloons
The Planet Earth Balloon / Power Rangers Super Mega Force
Red/White Candy Cane
Uncle Sam

Further information on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade can be obtained by calling the Parade Hotline at (212) 494-4495 or by visiting

See more information on about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and view the 2013 Macy's Parade route map and list of entries.

Text and images courtesy of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Copyright 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

2023 DCI Championships Photos

2023 DCI Photos

2023 Fall Marching Band Events

Facebook on Facebook

Working on your next marching show? Find Band Uniforms and select Marching Band Music Arrangers in the Resource section.

Support Music logo