The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Forecast Might Be Ripe For Classic ’90s TV Shenanigans


New York City’s Thanksgiving forecast is looking frigid. While that won’t affect how long you microwave your turkey, it will be a slight inconvenience for the brave souls traveling to New York City to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. According to The New York Post, it’s going to be quite cold:

Thanksgiving paradegoers should bundle up for the coldest temperatures in 20 years — and brace for powerful winds that threaten to ground dazzling giant balloons.

It’s expected to plunge into the low 20s in Manhattan — but it will feel more like the teens — in the coldest projected Thanksgiving on record since 1996.

If that forecast holds, it will be the third coldest Thanksgiving in parade history. And with the wind it’s only going to make things worse, with projections around 25 miles per hour and the potential for gusts up to 35 MPH. That would be strong enough to ground the balloons the parade is so well known for, which is very unfortunate news for viewers because those balloons and that weather have made for some excellent television.

One of pop culture’s most infamous trips to the parade happened at Tim Whatley’s apartment the night before Thanksgiving in the 1994 Seinfeld episode, “The Mom and Pop Store.” That night, Jerry punctured Woody Woodpecker.

Three years later, the Woody Woodpecker balloon helped inspire size restrictions for future parades. One of the biggest floats to ever appear in the parade, Woody was 75 feet tall and 45 feet wide and the restrictions forced his retirement. While Woody Woodpecker was his usual unwieldy self, it was The Cat in the Hat that knocked over a lamppost and put a woman in the hospital with a coma.

Somehow, it’s Barney who will be remembered from the ’97 parade. That was the year the purple dinosaur had to be cut to ribbons by police. Via The New York Times:

The crash of Barney, the purple dinosaur beloved by preschoolers and loathed by some parents, was heart-stopping for those at the end of its ropes. ”Everything turned purple,” said Antonella Laggiano of Mamaroneck, N.Y.

”Barney attacked us,” said a still-stunned Isabella Fasciano of Hoboken, N.J. After it fell, police officers rushed to puncture it with knives and relieve the danger.

The incident was most recently relived during last season’s Thanksgiving episode of Fresh Off The Boat.

Incredibly, on the same exact night that Jerry Seinfeld punctured Woody Woodpecker, Friends aired its first Thanksgiving episode and kind of predicted Barney’s fate.While other Thanksgiving episodes like “The One With The Football” (the Geller Cup), “The One with Chandler in a Box” (Chandler sits in a box for a prolonged period of time), “The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks” (Monica wears a turkey on her head), and “The One with the Rumor” (Brad Pitt hates his wife), may have more memorable gags or stories, “The One Where the Underdog Gets Away” told the story of New York City police killing a parade float gone rogue.

If something like the real Barney incident or fictional Underdog one ever happened in today’s political climate, neither Twitter, nor any American home hosting a Thanksgiving meal for family of mixed political affiliation, would survive. Luckily, safety restrictions and an accurate forecast can prevent these tragedies from ever happening again. For that – and for Thanksgiving episodes – we should all be thankful.