Thursday, November 22, 2007

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

A few years ago, my sister and I had the opportunity of a lifetime to be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. Yes, we were in it! My sister was a Macy's employee and signed us up to be clowns. The other option was to hold balloons, but that seemed too intensive.

Our day was to start 4 am by taking a chartered bus from NJ to NY. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the bus or her colleagues. We panicked and decided to drive ourselves to NYC and go to the meeting location. Later, we were happy since we were able to leave immediately after we were done. I remember driving in the dark hours and seeing a falling star.

We went to a hotel where we were given our costumes. We were to be part of "Martian Madness" and accompany this fuzzy character (I don't recall his name). To be a Martian entailed having our faces painted down the middle or diagonally - red on one side and blue on the other. We had these sock-like things to wear over our heads and some antennas. We had worn layers of t-shirts, sweatshirts and socks, plus gloves. To be honest, we hated our costumes. They weren't as cute as others and people would ask us "What are you?? Teletubby?"

They bussed us to where the parade started. It was 6 am and parade would kick off at 9 am. The weather wasn't so bad, but the prolonged exposure and not doing anything made it worse.

Once the parade started it was awesome! While we were waiting for our turn to jump in, we saw every float upfront! We cheered and waved to all the celebs on the Sesame Street float and I had my picture taken with Barney. We saw Al Roker interviewing folks and celebrities like Jill Hennessey.

Once we started walking, our job as clowns was to pump up the crowds and accompany our fuzzy friend in a little car. So, we had to run around, high-five everyone, yell and cheer! Even though kids didn't know what we were, the majority of people were excited when we'd come running up. They would lean over just to give a high-five. By the way, with all the running we did, we were quite warm. And, it was a long damn walk!

The most exciting memory I have is walking towards Columbus Circle and seeing hundreds of people! For a moment, I felt the high that Britney and Janet Jackson talk about when they perform in front of people. It is totally exciting! (Ok, the Sesame Street float was in front of us, so obviously that generated more excitement than our fuzzy-forgotten-name character).

By the way, we did not appear on TV. They did announce us "Coming up, Martian Madness" so our friends and family were all tuned in. So, yes we did come up next - but NBC went to commercial.

One regret I have for that day is not bringing a camera. We weren't sure how we would carry it and later saw lots of other clowns with cameras. Macy's photographer did take a picture of our group and it was available online for purchase. And, the photo was quite lousy.

Anyway, we had to return the costumes and left by noonish. We were so exhausted and just ready to go home and crash. That Thanksgiving was more memorable because the family member who was going to host dinner canceled due to a sick child. Therefore, around 4 pm, my sister and I were at Acme trying to round up some stuffing and gravy for last minute dinner!

Seeing the parade in real life is exciting, and being in the parade is an even better experience!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great experience.

ZenDenizen said...

Great memories!

Wish you posted the photo though :)

mermaid said...

I think you captured the picture well with words.