Photo By: asterix611/Flickr


By Tim Newcomb/TIME

With 27 floats set to roll down the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route in New York City, getting the festive contraptions ready for the big day proves a yearlong job for a team of sculptors, woodworkers, painters and designers.

Each year, the Macy’s parade sends 27 to 29 floats down the parade route, each with an entertainment theme of some sort. But these floats don’t get tossed together mere weeks ahead of the big day by a smattering of volunteers. For a three-hour telecast highlighted by big-name entertainment contracts, Macy’s does things a bit different. They have a team of 24 working year-round on floats that take between three and six months to complete.

Orlando Veras, Macy’s spokesperson, says that while the company builds for durability so it can reuse floats for a number of years, this year Macy’s created five new float attractions. The idea starts as just that, a marketing idea between a company and Macy’s. Then, once a contract gets signed—usually for a three-year term—the Macy’s studio design team starts researching everything from colors to character personalities and builds a float theme based on that information. From there, a pencil sketch turns into a tabletop model. “It is not your traditional way,” Veras says. “It is not like a flatbed with some fringe on it.”


Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/11/23/how-they-make-those-thanksgiving-day-floats/#ixzz1eXeLTR98


What will your favorite float be this year? Are there any in your memories that stand out from past parades?


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