Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Conjures Memories of Barney Balloon Fiasco on Social Media

As millions of Americans tuned in to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday, many couldn't help but think back to one of the annual event's biggest catastrophes, when high winds ripped apart several of the beloved floats at the seams, including Barney, who died a particularly violent death in front of the crowds.

As The New York Times wrote the following day, "At times, the balloons were not gliding but instead were careering as their handlers on the ground struggled to keep control in winds that reached as high as 43 miles an hour. For a while, the balloons seemed to be falling like flies. Barney suffered extensive damage and had to be removed at 51st Street. The Pink Panther succumbed at 42d Street. Quik Bunny and the Cat in the Hat limped away at 36th Street."

Meanwhile, "As the Pink Panther lurched about, while simultaneously imploding, a police inspector shouted, 'Somebody give me a knife, quick!' An officer quickly handed him a 5-inch-long knife and he punched a hole through the feline's tail, a move that almost immediately stabilized the balloon."

The moment might have gone down in history as one of the more bizarre moments in the parade's history, but also had some serious consequences, a Maria Clohessy and Kathy Caronna both suffered serious head injuries in the fallout. In response to what happened, organizers of the annual parade implemented new size rules that balloons can be no larger than 70 feet high, 78 feet long and 40 feet wide.

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Nevertheless, social media remembered the moment in a light-hearted fashion:

Photo credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images