Nov. 27 (UPI) — The 87-year-old Macy’s Day Parade tends to fly through rain or shine — usually. High winds and heavy rains might halt the iconic Thanksgiving Day celebration due to New York City regulations.
Winds over 23 mph and gusts above 34 mph are cause for cancellation, according to city rules. An onlooker suffered a fractured skull during the 1997 parade from a Cat in the Hat balloon knocking over a light pole.
The winds in New York are expected to be at 30 mph and gusts at 45. But the decision to cancel will be made in real time, rather than based on forecasts.
The 1997 incident left the woman in a coma for almost a month. And in 2005 there was another accident, knocking over another light pole and injuring two women. But balloons have only been grounded once before — back in 1971, also due to weather.
Weather along the East Coast has been rough. There are storm advisories from Maine to Georgia, with winds expected to reach 60 mph along the Massachusetts coast, and with snowfall of more than 6 inches along the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania to New England.
Regardless of weather, the balloons will be inflated on Manhattan’s Upper West Side Wednesday evening.