7. The third Superman balloon was one of the largest balloons in the Parade

Superman balloon
Photograph Courtesy of Macy’s, Inc.

The 1980 Superman float was the third incarnation of the iconic superhero. The first was launched in 1940 and the second in 1966. The 1980 version was the 92nd balloon and one of the largest balloons ever to fly in the parade. The “Man of Steel” stretched his arms overhead in mid-flight with a flowing cape flying behind him. The balloon was 104 feet in length, 35 feet wide, and weighed 550 pounds when inflated with the 12,000 cubic feet of helium required for him to take flight.

Superman was also the last balloon to be made by the Goodyear Tire Company. Since the early days of Sarg’s balloons, Goodyear and Macy’s had an exclusive contract with one another, which terminated in 1980 when Macy’s Department Store went into the balloon business on its own. The Superman balloon will likely hold its title of largest balloon in the parade due to recent safety restrictions.