What’s it like to have a character balloon at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ author Jeff Kinney weighs in

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15 massive balloons will float through New York City when the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns on Thursday.  Among the prestigious lineup will be a jumbo-sized Greg Heffley, star of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series.

This year will mark Greg’s 12th official appearance and, speaking with ABC Audio, author Jeff Kinney explained what it’s like to watch a massive, 62-foot tall version of his character parade through the Big Apple.  

“It’s really cool. It’s something that is almost indescribable because it’s such a big presence,” the bestselling author marveled. “When you’re there and your balloon’s towering above you, it almost feels too big to take in all at once.”

Kinney said it’s a “privilege” to be honored by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and added, “I can’t lie. It’s something that’s been really, really fun and a great part of my life.”

So, what’s it like to actually stand in the crowd as the Brachiosaurus-sized Greg floats by?

“It’s really funny,” Kinney remarked. “The kids are always looking at what’s on the horizon, right? So, by the time you actually get to [Greg], they’ve been seeing [him] for 15 minutes. They’re on to Smurfette five blocks down, rounding the corner. So, it really is this funny thing where people are like, ‘Yeah, all right. Gotcha. What’s next?'” 

While not many can say they’ve watched their creations fly through the streets of Manhattan, even fewer can boast having two balloons.  The original Greg Heffley balloon, which debuted in 2010, got a total makeover in 2016 and the new edition has marched in the parade ever since.

The 95th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off on Thursday, November 25, at 9 a.m. ET on NBC.  To see a list of all the floats, balloons, marching bands and special appearances, visit the official website.


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