2. Police Deflate Barney and Pink Panther Balloons Mid-Parade, 1997

Barney Balloon at the Macy's thanksgiving Day Parade
Barney in 2003. Image via Macy’s Parade Archives

Cat in the Hat wasn’t the only balloon that had trouble during the 1997 parade. High wind speeds caused a Barney balloon to start dangerously swaying, so much so that police officers went along the route and stabbed the Barney balloon for safety. This attack on Barney scared some nearby children.

The Pink Panther also gave into the winds and started to implode at 42nd street. An officer stepped in again to inflict the same fate as Barney. Now, when high winds are predicted the balloons are either grounded or flown much lower than they usually would be to avoid any potentially dangerous Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon mishaps.