My favorite part about this holiday is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’ve loved it since I was a kid and I’m excited to watch the 90th annual parade this year.
While reading an article about creepy balloons in parades past, I came across a mention of the Sonic the Hedgehog balloon and decided to look at how many video game-related balloons are in the parade.
Thanks to my good friend and unreliable source Wikipedia, I was surprised to see that there’s actually very few video game balloons. And of course most of them are Pokemon related.
Sadly, Mario hasn’t made the jump into a parade balloon but I’m still holding out hope that maybe he will eventually.
Here’s the video game balloons that have been in parades past!
(Spoiler: Almost all of them are Pikachu.)
Pikachu first appeared in the Macy’s Parade in 2001 for the parade’s 75th anniversary.
During that parade, he was also on a float with several other characters, including Kermit, Snoopy and Sonic the Hedgehog.
From 2001 to 2004, the Pokemobile, which was a Pikachu-themed VW Beetle, appeared alongside the Pikachu balloon. The Flying Pikachu balloon flew in the parade from 2001 to 2005.
The second Pikachu balloon showed him floating along with a Pokeball from 2006 to 2013.
Pikachu will be featured again in this year’s parade, where he’ll be accompanied by an adorable as heck snow-Pokemon. Holiday Pikachu has been in the parade since 2014.
Yes Pikachu is adorable but Mario’s 90s archenemy had the privilege of being the first video game character in the Macy’s Parade.
The Sonic the Hedgehog balloon made its first appearance in 1993.
And, naturally, chaos
emeralds ensued when Sonic showed up. Because of strong winds, the balloon bumped into a lamppost and injured a police officer and a child. Sonic had to be removed from the parade because of damage the balloon suffered during this incident.
Streetlights must’ve had some kind of vendetta against Sonic because he was once again damaged by one in 1995. No one was injured in that incident, however.
Sonic was retired from the parade in 1997.
But he was resurrected with a new balloon in 2011 and even led the parade that year!
Unfortunately, Sonic was retired from the parade again in 2013. Poor guy had a rough run in the Macy’s Parade so maybe this was for the best.
On another article, a commenter called for the inclusion of a Legend of Zelda-themed balloon in the Macy’s Parade and suggested the moon from Majora’s Mask.
What a fun addition that would be!