Inflating The Thanksgiving Day Parade
There was a chance this year, that for the first time in 67 years, Charlotte would not have a Thanksgiving Day Parade. Once Belk stepped down as the main sponsor, organizers said they were unable to raise the money to keep the parade afloat. But a few weeks later, Novant Health stepped in and committed to be the title sponsor for three years and the parade was back on.
WFAE's Tasnim Shamma joined workers as they put last minute touches on the floats before the big day.
At a parking lot in uptown, there's a row of white tents where a 15-foot turkey will be inflated.
Peter Lord is unloading boxes from a truck full of supplies. He's been working with his crew almost non-stop for the last 12 weeks.
"We're putting together all the floats," Lord says. "We have the globes here, the ones that are going to have the soldiers on here. The inflatable turkey, and the main floats that are coming down."
Lord has been working on Thanksgiving Day parades for more than 10 years. A lot of the equipment he's using is new.
Inventory used in last year's parade was beginning to parade. Parade organizers, Center City Partners, raised $100,000 from private sponsors to purchase new balloons, costumes and floats. This is in addition to the $100,000 from Novant Health.
"A parade is really about inventory and all those pieces that you need to have every year," says Center City Partner's Robert Krumbine. "So this is one of the bigger years really to invest and the private sector stepped up."
The parade will feature nine local high school marching bands, 15 floats and also new this year: two segwalloons. Apparently, that's a cross between a segway and a balloon.
The parade will start at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning at 9th and Tryon. Parking will be available for five dollars at the Duke Energy Center.