One of the most iconic parts of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade are the balloons, with brands and companies offering floating versions of some of their most iconic characters every year. During this year's parade, the Ronald McDonald balloon suffered a bit of a setback after it partially deflated due to a tear in the beloved clown's left leg, resulting in the float being pulled out of the parade before it was able to finish the route.
Franki Primeggia, one of the dozen handlers who helped guide the balloon on its route, told The Post that there was a small three to four inch tear on the balloon "right out of the gate" that only got bigger as the parade continued.
"The left leg was ripped right as we started," Primeggia said. "We got underneath the balloon, we all took a rope, they unnetted the balloon … and they saw it."
He added that two Macy's employees doing inspections noticed the rep but could not find tape to repair it.
"The hole was three inches circumference, but they didn’t tape it or anything" and the workers "didn’t make a big deal out of being unable to tape it," Primeggia added. "They said they were just going to float it."
Heavy winds only made the tear worse, and three people had to hold the six-long foot first due to the gusts and later because it was dropping. The entire leg ultimately fell and the balloon was removed after floating from the Upper West Side to 42nd Street. Macy's said it was safe to fly but was pulled for aesthetic reasons, and after the rip was pointed out by Today show co-host Hoda Kotb, the network began airing footage from a past parade.
The Ronald McDonald balloon sis 67 feet long and was a giant version of McDonald's mascot, the redheaded clown Ronald McDonald who was dressed in his signature red and yellow outfit complete with large red shoes.
"Some of the balloons suffered stress and tears during the overnight inflation which resulted in the Ronald McDonald giant balloon being pulled midway through the Parade," Macy’s spokesman Orlando Veras said in a statement. The company added that workers will repair the tear so the balloon can return to the lineup next year.0comments
Video from the parade shows handlers carrying the deflated leg, which began moving closer to the ground as the route progressed.
🎈 BALLOON DOWN: High winds in New York City tossed around balloons during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Ronald McDonald, in particular, didn't fare well and had his leg torn during the procession pic.twitter.com/4HZld8Om2R— Bloomberg TicToc (@TicToc) November 28, 2019
Photo Credit: Getty / Anadolu Agency