High Winds Ban Inappropriate Balloons

Brisk winter winds prevented the jolly clown and whimsical dragon balloons to float along the streets of downtown Detroit yesterday for the Thanksgiving parade. Sadder still was that some of the lesser known balloons were also not able to make their debut this holiday. After the traumatic 1990 Chilly Willy incident which carried the hapless pengiun, and 5 of it’s tethered handlers 20 miles away and into Lake St. Clair, the balloon selection process has become more and more difficult to pass jury selection.

This reporter has discovered that while Snoopy and the Pink Panther have enjoyed wide appeal and acceptance for parades around the country, the seedier but more realistic underside of Detroit has not been represented in balloon form until this year.

Take for instance, Clyde the Rat. Clyde was to represent big business being farmed out to foreign lands. His presence at the Thanksgiving parade would have given new hope to those whose jobs are being outsourced.


Then there’s that small (but oh so clever) group of people who know all of the lines for Monty Python British sketch comedy. Their balloon, the vicious, razor-toothed rabbit (ala’ Holy Grail) was to be their pride and joy. Other floats offered up by the Pythoniacs included a 50 foot dead parrot, and a 35 foot tall Shrubbery.


And as far as the “Couch Potatoes of Southeastern Michigan” are concerned, this season’s balloon-preventing high winds caused their 45 foot tall inflated potato mounted in a recliner chair to “get stuffed.” An anonymous member of CPOSM voiced his outrage that, though he and his constituency never actually planned on going to the parade, they did plan on watching the whole thing on television.


and so, despite most people having had a great time at yesterday’s parade, there do remain quite a few disgrunted folks who hope for calmer skies next Thanksgiving for their representation.

3 Comments so far

  1. lance (unregistered) on November 25th, 2005 @ 4:52 pm

    I remember Chilly Willy getting airborn, but I didn’t know 5 handlers were taken along with him!

  2. lance (unregistered) on November 26th, 2005 @ 6:13 am

    It’s really is a good thing the balloons were kept grounded after knowing what happened in New York at their parade.

  3. DetroitWonk (unregistered) on November 26th, 2005 @ 8:06 pm

    As someone who was supposed to run a team holding a balloon, I am REALLY glad that we weren’t going to be running down the parade route with them.

    For some fun pictures of the parade and to see “The Hijacking of the Mayor’s Float”, check out these links:



    Happy Thanksgiving weekend all!

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