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One character that has been a mainstay of the parade since I was a kid is Kermit the Frog. I must confess that I am an avid Muppets fan, and those fuzzy little guys hosted my absolute favorite childhood TV show, “The Muppet Show”. So naturally, I’ve always loved the giant Kermit the Frog balloon from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
It, turns out that Kermit has had an interesting run as a parade balloon. The balloon was “launched” during the 1977 Thanksgiving Day Parade. Apparently the real Kermit the Frog was on hand to report about the balloon (in his Muppet News Flash garb complete with a trench coat, press fedora hat and microphone). Reportedly, Kermit expressed his chagrin that his giant balloon counterpart was naked. Kermit has appeared live at the parade several times throughout the years.
The original Kermit the Frog balloon suffered a few major incidents over the years. In 1985, the balloon ripped along its stomach and lost over 80 percent of its helium. Apparently it was carried for the last part of the parade route by its balloon handlers. In 1991 the balloon caught on some trees in Central Park West, tearing a hole in the balloon. One again, the balloon was carried much of the way by his balloon handlers. The balloon was cheered wildly by spectators as he appeared to “swim” down the street.
After the 1991 incident, a new Kermit the Frog balloon was created, and it was that version that we saw in yesterday’s parade. Here’s the stats:
Width: 36 ft.
Height: 61 ft.
Length: 78 ft.
Volume: 11,000 cubic feet of helum
Weight: Well over 1,000 lbs.
Conclusion: The Kermit the Frog Balloon from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade weighs more than me.