Occupy Wall Street Float to Appear in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
NEW YORK—Thanksgiving becoming overly politicized is the biggest fear of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade organizers, as word is spreading of the Occupy Wall Street protesters’ plan to disrupt the traditional holiday parade by marching along the parade route with a giant inflatable dollar bill.
“The world’s inflated debt balloon keeps expanding, so at the last general assembly, someone said we should enter a balloon in the world’s largest balloon parade,” stated Occupy protester Bill Watson of Queens. “We are hoping that this big-ass inflatable dollar bill makes people understand that we cannot keep going with an economic system focused on corporations.”
Watson, who has a Master’s degree in Advanced Puppeteering from New York University, quickly acquired the materials needed to construct the dollar bill from several of the now-defunct theatre groups in the East Village. A team of artists worked to morph the portrait of George Washington into the face of a pig. “There were just so many talented artists alongside me in the protests. It was as if the all-stars of puppetry were working together. I am proud of what we have done both artistically and politically,” said Watson.
For years the character such as a 40-foot-tall Kermit the Frog, Snoopy, Garfield and other classic cartoon characters have been the mainstays of the balloon entries. But according to Robert Johannssen, Vice Chairman of the parade’s balloon committee, “It is not the first time we have had people build their own balloons to enter in the parade without corporate sponsorship.”
While not officially discouraged, all self financed balloons must first be submitted to the committee for approval pursuant to a 1939 rule. “In 1938 a group of Nazi sympathizers entered a few zeppelins and a giant inflatable Hitler into the parade. That one slipped by us. The resulting panic and trampling deaths meant there were a few open chairs at Thanksgiving dinner that day, but it was the Depression, so I’m sure the extra food was appreciated.”
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