The RugratsBalloon:
The Inaugural Appearance (11/27/97)


The following are actual pictures from the 71st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving (November 27, 1997) in New York City. The Rugrats balloon made its first televised live apprearance at about 11:10AM ET (over 2 hours into NBC's coverage). The following are some pictures and descriptions from the parade

All pictures from NBC's coverage of the 71st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, 1997; copyright (c) 1997 by the National Broadcasting Company, all rights reserved. The Macy's logo and star balloon are trademarks of the R.H. Macy Company, a subsiodiary of Federaated Stores, Inc. The Rugrats balloon, of course, is a trademark of Viacom.

The Pictures:

             The Front View Of The Balloon.                      A View From an Angle.
Another Frontal View, From Higher Up In The Air.     Side View, As The Balloon Turns A Corner.
Back view of the balloon, though you can't quite see it, as the logo is placed when the parade coverage goes to a commercial break.

The Description:

The following is a transcript of hosts Willard Scott, Katie Couric and Al Roker (all from The Today Show), giving their description of the Rugrats balloon, as it makes their first live appearace on NBC:

This transcript is (c) 1997 by the National Broadcasting Company.

Katie: (after a team of Clydesdale horses from Branson, MO appeared) All right; we'll take a look at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade's first 3-character balloon. From characters Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo (pronounced "chew-poh") and Paul Germain, meet the Rugrats: Tommy Pickles, the adventurous leader, his best friend scairdey-cat, Chuckie, and along for the ride, their faithful pal, Spike. Rugrats balloon is furnished by Nickelodeon.

Al: We're told that 2000 yards of fabric went in to bringing this trio to life, enough material to outfit the members of today's marching bands, or me and Willard. (Keep in mind that that last bit was a joke, as Al Roker and Willard Scott are kind of stout.)

Katie: The world of Rugrats is about life from the baby's point of view from the knees up. Tommy's slogan is: "A baby's gotta do what a baby's gotta do".

Willard: That's right, Pilgrim; and that doom-and-gloomer Chuckie says, "When all else fails, cry." That works for me. And Spike, well, just like your own doggie, he can't talk, but he does take the Rugrats on some big-time adventures on Nickelodeon's popular series.

Katie: Just like he did today.


Don Pardo (announcer): (as parade logo flashes on screen for a commercial break)  The Seuss-tariffic "Cat In The Hat", and party time at the hit Broadway musical "Smokey Joe's Cafe". You're invited; the address is right here on NBC.

Shortly After The Appearance:

The Rugrats balloon appeared at the right time, as that parade was one of the windiest ever. After the Rugrats balloon, The Cat In The Hat balloon was presented, but it hit a lamppost, injuring 4 people, with 2 of those hospitalized (one in serious condition). The Pink Panther balloon, a longtime parade stand-by, was deflated. The high winds also caused Big Bird and Spiderman to be carried horizontally. Finally, a Barney balloon was ran over by a cop, who tried to stop it.

(Special thanks to Kyle Stanley)

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