SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KCAU) – On Wednesday night, balloons were being inflated for Thursday’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, where a Sioux Falls native is getting ready to take part in the parade.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a holiday tradition for many including Adam Peters, though his memories might be a bit different than yours.
“This year will be my sixth parade that I’ve been in. I am a balloon handler and so what that entails is they randomly assign you every year a big balloon or the big helium balloons,” Peters said.
Peters says it’s really hard to get into the parade as a volunteer. Luckily, the 28-year-old had a connection who vouched for him years back.
“Someone sponsored me and kind of once you’re in, you’re in,” said Peters.
Peters first fell in love with New York City back in 2008, when he attended a Major League Baseball All-Star Game thanks to Make-A-Wish.
He loves going back and can rattle off each balloon he’s had the honor of working with.
“Adventure Time with Finn and Jake. The Grinch balloon I was on a couple years ago. Last year, I was on Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This year, I’m on Goku,” Peters said.
It’s an incredible experience for someone who watched the event on TV as a kid. His wife, Tamara, did too and now she gets to her spot on the parade route at 5:30 a.m. to be in the front row.
“Growing up, as a kid you always watched it on Thanksgiving Day to see it. Then to actually see it in person is pretty neat. Then it’s always fun waiting for Adam’s balloon to come by and getting to see him in the parade,” said Tamara Peters.
It’s become an up close and personal tradition for the Peters family in New York City.
“The best part is actually when you’re walking the parade and you’re seeing the millions of people that are on the street lined for the parade. Seeing their face light up is just something magical because they’re looking at the balloon and enjoying the parade,” said Adam Peters.
A tradition they hope will float on far into the future.
A lot of the balloons in the parade are made by Raven in Vermillion, South Dakota.
You can catch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday at 9 a.m. on TV and through certain live streaming services.
While you’re trying to spot Adam, look out for the South Dakota float, called “Mount Rushmore’s American Pride, featuring country music star, Chris Young.
The South Dakota Department of Tourism announced that the float will return for the 10th year.