Balloons cleared to fly in iconic New York Thanksgiving Day parade

NEW YORK: Thanksgiving Day in New York City started with something many New Yorkers and visitors will be grateful for: The giant balloons in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade were given the all clear to fly after fears strong winds could ground them.

"Good News, New York City: the winds are holding and the #MacysThanksgivingDayParade balloons will FLY!," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a tweet early on Thursday (Nov 28).

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The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Love Flies Up to the Sky by Yayoi Kusama balloon sits inflated in New York, Nov 27, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

A member of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade inflation team carries an inflation hose for balloons in New York, Nov 27, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

Concerns had been mounting earlier in the week over a forecast of strong winds on Thanksgiving Day.

City regulations that were put in place after a Cat in the Hat balloon knocked down a lamp post in 1997, injuring four spectators, say the inflatable characters must be kept out of the sky when sustained winds top 37kmh, and gusts exceed 54kph.

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The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade inflation team makes preparations for a Macy's balloon in New York, Nov 27, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade inflation team make preparations for the Jett by Super Wings balloon in New York, Nov 27, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

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