06 December 2010

I Was a Spider-Man Handler

So this Thanksgiving was a pretty cool one for me as I got to be one of the Spider-Man balloon handlers for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade! Marvel managed to work it so that we could get some of our employees in on the Spidey balloon action. Last year was Spidey's return to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since his departure in 1998. I stupidly did not volunteer to help him get through the day which I remedied this year. It was a great time.

I had to get up around 4:30AM (the downside to all of this), get to the New Yorker hotel by 6AM, change into the awesome outfit you see above and take a bus uptown to 81st St. Where Spidey was "parked."

This is my assistant Alex and I on the bus:

My other assistant, Nelson, on the bus. He brought his own special hat. Lucky!

Here's "parked" Spidey. You can see the netting on him to keep him tethered.

Spidey's balloon neighbors:

We had a little time before we had to grab hold of our ropes, so I walked around the immediate vicinity to get some pics of what was going on around us.

There were a TON of these awesome penguin peeps.

I made a lame joke about having our ducks in a row here, but then heard the announcer make the same joke. haha

These are "Springtime" clowns apparently (the sign you can't see says so):

Some cupcakes. Obviously.

"Sleepytime" clowns:

Some pirate ship I thought was cool:

These guys were my favourite. No idea what they're FOR though...

HOOPER'S STORE!!! Made my day! :-) Big Bird's mailbox is there too!

Woodstock. I believe this float followed behind (or maybe he was in front) of the Snoopy balloon:

If you look closely, you can see Snoopy peeking out behind the trees! I was in a rush to get back to Spidey so I couldn't get closer, but I kind of love the way he looks there!

On the way back to my post:

Unfortunately, my handler duties prevented me from taking pictures DURING the parade. (Though we snuck a few, you can see them on the Marvel Trades blog that Nelson regularly updates here.) But here's Spidey being deflated almost immediately after we passed by Macy's...

Then they roll him up and everyone lays down on him to get the most helium out that they can.

After we were all done, I got to see some of the other balloons turn the corner on their way to deflation:

This is one of the Pokemon floats that followed the Pikachu balloon. I think its pretty. :)

Oh and this Macy's train. I am down with this. haha

All in all, it was a great time. It was about 6 hours from when I got to the hotel to get my costume to when I got back to take it off. Then I had to rush home and shower and drive out to my aunt's house for dinner. I'm AMAZED I didn't take a nap once there. I almost ALWAYS nap on Thankgiving. This time, when I've been awake since 4:30AM, I end up playing Scene It: Box Office Smash for XBox (I'm addicted to this game now) with my cousin's until 2AM! Ridiculous. But a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving. There's a good chance I'll volunteer again next year. :-P

The End.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! I'm thinking of things I really would love to do in 2011, and being a balloon handler this Thanksgiving would be it!!! I live in Iowa but have been to NYC many times and love it there! Any chance you could give me some tips on how to make this dream come true for me?