Baby Yoda, Pikachu Balloons Take Flight in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Test

NBC Universal, Inc.

Giant inflatable characters took over Citi Field as part of the annual tradition of testing balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A new cast of characters are joining the ranks this year and had their inaugural float in Queens Saturday morning.

The larger than life additions included in the holiday parade returning later this month Grogu, better known as Baby Yoda, Ronald McDonald, as well as Pokemon favorites Pikachu and Eevee.

A giant inflatable Pikachu is tested at Citi Field in Queens.

Parade volunteers arrived bright and early to test the newest recruits and provide a sneak peek of what's to come in two weeks.

The annual holiday parade returns to its pre-pandemic form this year, with its route restored through Manhattan and crowds welcomed back in full force.

Also back this year are the balloon handlers, who last year, due to the pandemic, were replaced with specialized vehicles.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is back in a big way this year. Marc Santia reports.

Visitors will once again be allowed to see the balloons inflated the day before the parade as long as they show proof of vaccination.

The Nov. 25 parade will feature 15 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 36 novelty and heritage inflatables, 800-plus clowns, 10 marching bands and nine performance groups, and, of course, Santa Claus.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will air on NBC from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or catch the encore starting at 2 p.m.

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