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The Buzz Lightyear balloon, debuting in 2008.

Aerial view of the Buzz Lightyear balloon.

The Hasbro "Healthy Mr. Potato Head" balloon.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual parade presented by Macy's and held every Thanksgiving Day in New York City.

Originally called the Macy's Christmas Parade, it was first held in 1924 and has been cancelled only twice due to rubber shortages during World War II. The two and a half mile parade features large balloons of well-known characters alongside floats and marching bands, ending with a float of Santa Claus in his sleigh, marking the start of the Christmas season.

Buzz Lightyear balloon

Buzz Lightyear has appeared in the parade as a balloon in 2008, 2010, and 2011. John Lasseter is known to have held down one of the strings attached to the balloon in 2008 and 2010. The balloon even has the name "Andy" on his right foot.

Not giving specific information, John Lasseter explained that Roger Gould was involved with the Buzz Lightyear balloon. As quoted:

The member of the Pixar team that brought the Buzz Lightyear balloon to life is Roger Gould. Now Roger Gould has a really special connection to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade...[1]


  • A "Healthy Mr. Potato Head" balloon appeared in the 2005 and 2007 parades; however, the balloon is Hasbro's version of Mr. Potato Head, not having anything to do with Pixar.
  • Interestingly, all performers in the parade must become "employees" of Macy's.[2]
  • Since 2001, Macy's has partnered with the Universal Orlando Resort (owned by NBC Universal) to bring balloons and floats from New York to the theme park in Florida every holiday season. The parade is performed almost daily and includes the iconic Santa Claus float.[3]



  1. "Buzz Takes Manhattan" (supplementary material on DVD re-release of Toy Story). 2010. DVD. Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2010.
  2. Fox News Latino
  3. Macy's Holiday Parade™ & Much More Only at Universal Studios Florida