Giant balloons fly high at Macy's parade

Updated Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York managed to include 15 giant balloons Thursday, but the balloons were flying low because of high winds.

Two injuries were reported -- one to a member of the crew operating the 67-foot long Buzz Lightyear balloon, and the other to the 78-foot long Spider-Man balloon, whose left arm was deflated after becoming impaled on a tree, the New York Daily News reported.

A Fire Department spokesman told the newspaper Keri O'Connell, 39, was treated for a minor injury after a cart that was part of the Buzz Lightyear operating crew ran over her foot.

Parade officials and police made the decision to allow the balloons to sail just as the parade kicked off in Manhattan at 9 a.m. EST. The day was clear and cold, but not as windy as forecast, although gusts of as much as 43 mph were recorded.

Parade organizers were cautious because several people have been injured in the past when gusts have blown balloons off course.

"We have a sergeant assigned to each of the balloons," New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told CNN Thursday about precautions being taken this year. "They can be lowered all the way to the ground.

The parade featured thousands of marchers from around the United States, 30 floats and 11 marching bands, as well as musical performances by Joan Jett and Goo Goo Dolls.

The casts of Broadway's "Kinky Boots," "Matilda" and "Pippin" performed, along with stars of the upcoming TV staging of "The Sound of Music," and cast members from TV's "Duck Dynasty" also appeared.

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