NYC Thanksgiving parade kicks off and the balloons will fly


FILE – In this Nov. 22, 2018 file photo, the Olaf balloon floats past Radio City Music Hall during the 92nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, will take place amid strong winds that could potentially ground the giant character balloons. The balloons have caused mishaps and injuries in the past when gusts blew them off course.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: It’s official! The NYC Thanksgiving parade has officially kicked off with word the famous balloons will fly.

NEW YORK (AP) –New York City officials say a decision about the giant balloons at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be made right before the celebration starts.

Outgoing New York City Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill says he’s an “optimist” and is still hopeful the balloons will be featured in this year’s parade.

Parade officials and New York City police are keeping an eye on wind gauges along the 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) parade route that snakes through Manhattan.

If wind speeds reach dangerous levels, the 16 helium balloons including Smokey Bear and Snoopy could be brought down to float at a lower level or taken out of the parade.

The National Weather Service is projecting sustained winds of up to 24 mph (39 kph) with gusts to 40 mph (64 kph) during the parade.

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