Bluey joins New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time

For the first time, Australian children’s television favorite Bluey has helped Americans ring in the holiday season at New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Crowds of spectators lined the streets of Manhattan on Thursday for the annual tradition, which dates back nearly a century.

A giant inflatable Bluey floats between the high-rises in the parade
Bluey flies to the 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan.( Reuters:Andrew Kelly)

Crowds filled the streets as a procession of giant inflatables and floats stretched more than 40 blocks from Central Park to Herald Square.

Children balanced on metal barricades and hung from scaffolding to watch the balloons amid mostly sunny skies and a light breeze.

Pikachu balloon floats over 6th Avenue during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Pikachu floats down Sixth Avenue.(AP: Andres Kudacki)

And for the first time, Australia’s favorite sheepdog was present.

Bluey’s balloon was as tall as a four-story building and as wide as seven taxis.

The Boss Baby balloon makes its way through Central Park West
Boss Baby, tall and responsible for Central Park West.(AP: Julia Nikhinson)

“Blue, Blue. There’s Blue,” yelled a slightly confused Divyam Kumar, who had mistaken Bluey for the star of the animated show Blue’s Clues.

His confusion was understandable given the similarities between the characters and the fact that he is six years old.

Handlers pull the Smokey Bear balloon down Sixth Avenue
Smokey delivers the fire safety message to Sixth Avenue.(AP: Jeenah Moon)

“Have they never seen Bluey?”

However, fans watching a broadcast of the parade were less forgiving when hosts repeatedly described Bluey as a male, with social media flooded with corrections.

However, one broadcaster received praise for doing its research.

700 clowns and a Santa Claus

The parade featured 16 giant balloons, 28 floats, 40 new and historic inflatables, 12 marching bands, 10 performance groups, 700 clowns and a Santa Claus.

Handlers pull the Stuart the Minion balloon past Central Park West
Handlers pull the Stuart the Minion balloon past Central Park West.(AP: Julia Nikhinson)

In addition to Bluey, other new balloons joined the lineup, including Stuart the one-eyed Minion from Despicable Me 2, a new green dinosaur, an apatosaurus, and a new Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon.

Among the classics that thrilled audiences were Snoopy dressed as an astronaut and old favorite Papa Smurf.

Not all about the balloons

The blown-up characters were joined by singer Paula Abdul in her first parade appearance, indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums, boy band Big Time Rush, Blue’s Clues & You! host Josh Dela Cruz, singer Gloria Estefan, gospel singer Kirk Franklin, actor Mario Lopez, reggae star Ziggy Marley and Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles.

The Paw Patrol balloon floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Chase appears on behalf of Paw Patrol.(AP: Charles Sykes/Invision)

Singers Joss Stone, Jordin Sparks and Betty were also part of the festivities, as were the stars of Peacock’s Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin — Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg. Jimmy Fallon and The Roots were on a float to celebrate Central Park.

The Goku balloon floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Goku represents the Dragon Ball universe at the parade. (AP: Charles Sykes/Invision)

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden called into the parade, as they did last year.

Biden thanked firefighters, police officers and first responders, saying, “They never take a break.”

People watch from the rooftop as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon moves down Sixth Avenue
People watch from the rooftop as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon moves down Sixth Avenue.(AP: Andres Kudacki)
The Green Giant float and Baby Yoda balloon make their way through Central Park West
The Green Giant and Baby Yoda make their way through Central Park West.(AP: Julia Nikhinson)
The Bluey balloon floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Bluey joins the New York crowd. (AP: Charles Sykes/Invision)

In the memorandum

While Bluey’s debut was a nod to the future, many onlookers took a moment to remember the balloons that had fallen during service during the parade’s history.

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