It’s time for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons to once again take flight.
On Wednesday afternoon, New Yorkers can watch the famous giant characters being inflated ready for Thursday’s parade, a tradition scrapped for in-person spectators last year because of the pandemic.
The Macy’s Balloon Inflation Celebration on the streets around the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side starts at 12 p.m., finishing six hours later.
The entrance is at 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue, with the balloons then lined up on both 77th and 81st Streets.
It will include a first look at the new attractions, including the eagerly awaited arrival of Grogu, better known as “Baby Yoda” from Disney’s Star Wars spinoff “The Mandalorian.”
Other new balloons for the 95th parade include Ronald McDonald and Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee.
“We can’t wait to help New York City and the nation kick-off the holiday season with the return of this cherished tradition,” said the parade’s executive producer, Will Coss.
While open again for spectators, the inflation celebration does have some COVID-19 restrictions, including a restricted capacity to allow social distancing and a requirement for masks to be worn at all times.
All visitors aged 12 and over will also have to show proof of vaccination at checkpoints, with proof of a negative test not being accepted. Under 12s will be allowed, however, as long as they are with a vaccinated adult.
The 95th parade is then due to float through the Upper West Side and midtown Manhattan from 9 a.m. Thursday, ending with the arrival of Santa Claus.