The childhood dream of many an American came true for a group of lucky Stevens volunteers, when they joined the crew of the world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, performing some of the essential functions of the annual holiday extravaganza in New York City.
For the 28th year, a team of Stevens staff, faculty, students, alumni and parents were an integral part of the parade’s success. Their roles involved testing, inflating and guiding the pilots of the iconic helium balloons of Snoopy, Bugs Bunny and other pop culture characters that bring joy to millions each Thanksgiving Day.
The Stevens team – which includes long-timers participants as well as first-time parade-goers – gets specialized training before the parade to learn how to inflate the gigantic balloons, which can reach six stories high. On Thanksgiving Day, they prep the balloons before the sun rises, then work the parade route, making sure the balloon handlers stay on track and expertly maneuver around barriers.
The volunteers love being a part of a true, All-American event and enjoy the camaraderie of doing hard work in cold weather before indulging in turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.
Photo credit: Kenny Adamsbaum