The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City could be missing its iconic balloons this year.

Millions of people tune into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade each year as part of their holiday traditions. This year, things may not look the same. A cold front bringing high winds is threatening to ground the balloons.

For safety reasons, New York doesn't allow the balloons to fly in winds higher than 23 MPH or gusts higher than 34 MPH. The current forecast has the winds right at the edge of those limits. Officials are expected to make the call the morning of the parade.

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CBS12 gives the history of the rule about about wind speed: "Back in 1997, on a very blustery Thanksgiving Day morning in New York City, the iconic Cat and the Hat balloon got caught up in some strong wind gusts. The balloon handlers couldn't control it and it blew into a lamppost, injuring four spectators." After that, the city established the rules.

This year's parade is expected to host 30 balloons, including Astronaut Snoopy, who would enjoy his 40th flight as part of the parade, if he and his 90 handlers are allowed to take off.

Nearly a million people visit the inflation event for the balloons, which takes place on the Wednesday before the parade, at the Museum of Natural History in NYC.

The parade has happened without the balloons only once, in 1971, when officials felt it was too dangerous to fly the iconic characters.


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