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Archive for ‘Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2011’


   
 

Sonic in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Modern Sonic Makes Debut at Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadePhoto by Rob Kim/WireImage for SEGA of America

I was lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving (which was coincidentally my birthday) in New York City with the Sonic balloon at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was a fantastic experience that I won’t soon forget.

The Day Before the Parade

Sonic Balloon

The day before the parade, the balloons are blown up outside the American Museum of Natural History for the public to come by and see. The Sonic balloon, like many of the balloons, are blown up laying on their sides. They are then held to the ground with netting and heavy cement blocks so they don’t float away before it’s time.

That evening, Macy’s had a party inside the museum for the sponsors. The model for our balloon was on display, and Sonic himself was there to greet the kids and fans of all ages.

Sonic plays Sonic Generations with kids

Sonic also helped some kids out while they played Sonic Generations.

Parade Day

We had to be up early. Like, EARLY early. Team SEGA met in the hotel lobby at 4:45 AM, and after a quick breakfast and a (terrible) cup of coffee, we were inside the New Yorker hotel to get our balloon handler outfits on. Once that was sorted, we made our way to the bus that took us to the starting line of the parade.

Marcella, Kellie, and Aaron with the balloon

This is us — (L-R) Marcella, Kellie, and Aaron — in front of the Sonic balloon before it was un-netted. Once they took the net off, we had to hold the balloon for about an hour while they took the nets off all the other balloons. Because we were first in the parade, our net was removed first… so then we had to wait.

Modern Sonic Makes Debut at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Photo by Rob Kim/WireImage for SEGA of America

The balloon is massive. To give you a sense of just how massive, here’s a photo taken with all the handlers in place, before we put the balloon in the air.

Then the parade kicked off, and we guided Sonic through the streets and skies of New York City. The parade route is 2.5 miles, and Herald Square (where the TV cameras are) is right at the very end. So if people look tired when they get there, it’s because they’ve just walked over 2 miles!

Balloon Banner

 

Modern Sonic Makes Debut at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Photo by Rob Kim/WireImage for SEGA of America

Modern Sonic Makes Debut at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Photo by Rob Kim/WireImage for SEGA of America

Modern Sonic Makes Debut at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Photo by Rob Kim/WireImage for SEGA of America

Modern Sonic Makes Debut at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Photo by Rob Kim/WireImage for SEGA of America

And now… my favorite non-Sonic photo from the parade.

Modern Sonic Makes Debut at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Photo by Rob Kim/WireImage for SEGA of America

Want more photos from the parade? We’ve got them on our Flickr.

Food!

As is tradition around here lately… here’s some of the food we ate on our trip.

After the inflation party the night before the parade, Aaron and I went over to Junior’s to get our cheesecake. I had the plain (it’s the best, IMO) and Aaron had the pumpkin swirl. How festive!

On Thanksgiving, after the parade, Aaron and I went to Marc Forgione for Thanksgiving dinner. We started with some ravioli with lobster and sage. It was yummy!

Aaron had turkey, but not being a big fan of it myself, I had the fish. It was cooked perfectly — the fish was creamy, and the skin was crispy.

We also had some roasted veggies, some brussels sprouts (they’re good if cooked right, I promise), and some maple sweet potatoes. We also had cranberry sauce, which didn’t make it into the photo.

For dessert, we each had an apple souffle with salted caramel sauce. It was so good that we wished we had more!

The next morning was our last one in New York, and I still had one NYC food fix that I hadn’t gotten yet. Remembering how great the smoked salmon bagel I had from Russ & Daughters was when we were in town for New York Comic Con, I went down to get sandwiches for Aaron and I to have for breakfast. Since I already posted a photo of the bagel and salmon sandwich itself, I snapped a photo of the uncut salmon sides.

Thank You!

It was so amazing to walk down the street with the Sonic balloon and hear people chanting Sonic’s name. It was also a treat to check Twitter after the parade and see all your tweets about how excited you were to see the balloon on TV. Thanks to all of you, and a special thanks to all the Macy’s employees who helped us with the balloon handling duties for Sonic. We couldn’t have done it without you!

 
   
   
 

See Sonic in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

In just a few weeks, Sonic will be flying down the streets of New York City in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade! This is actually Sonic’s second time in the parade — he was the first video game character to be in the parade back in 1993, and now he’s back for his 20th anniversary. Over the past 20 years, Sonic has evolved as one of gaming’s greatest icons, with his blue body and unforgettable spikes being recognized worldwide as a symbol of speed, adventure and fun.

Macy's Poster

On Thanksgiving, the Sonic balloon will sky rocket into the atmosphere with massive blue spikes, his signature white gloves and red shoes, shining in the sun. For his parade return, Sonic will measure approximately 48-feet tall, 60-feet long, and 26-feet wide, solidifying his presence, once again, as a historic character in the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade line-up.

The 85th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs across the United States on NBC-TV, Thursday, November 24, 2011 from 9:00 am – Noon, in all time zones.

Sneak Peek at the Sonic Balloon

The balloons were taken for a test flight this past weekend at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, and Marcella, our Director of Marketing, was there to see it! She snapped these photos of the balloon, and confirmed that it looks amazing.

Sonic Balloon Test Flight

Sonic Balloon Test Flight

Sonic Balloon Test Flight

Sonic Balloon Test Flight

We’ve got more photos of the balloon on our Flickr. You can really get a sense of how gigantic the balloon is when you see all the people below holding on to the ropes. It looks great, and I’m so excited to see it in person. Which brings me to…

See Us In the Parade!

While most of the balloon handlers helping us with the Sonic balloon will be volunteers and other non-employees, there are a few of us headed to New York City this Thanksgiving to be balloon handlers in the parade. This year, Thanksgiving falls on my birthday, and I can’t think of a more fun way to spend it than being in the Macy’s parade! Not sure how well you’ll be able to see us, but maybe you’ll get a glimpse of me and a few other SEGA folks when you see the Sonic balloon on TV. Of course, if you’re in NYC and on the parade route, you might see us as we walk by with the Sonic balloon. If you see us, shout out a hey!

We’ll try to take some behind the scenes photos to show you after the parade, but because there are absolutely no cameras or cell phones allowed for balloon handlers on the parade route (and we’ll literally have our hands full, anyway) there will be no live tweeting, blogging, Facebooking, etc from the parade route.

We’re super excited, and hope you are too!

 
   
   
 


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