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Morning Express with Robin Meade

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Bob Van Dillen: Growing up with Macy's parade

NEED TO KNOW
  • See HLN Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen live from New York City starting at 7a.m. ET for the Thanksgiving day parade
  • Bob says wind may ground some parade balloons!
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Bob Van Dillen Bio

Best of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Best of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Delish or yeesh? Thanksgiving sides we love to hate

Delish or yeesh? Thanksgiving sides we love to hate

The Thanksgiving day version of "Morning Express with Robin Meade" is going to be great. I get to step outside the studio and fly back to NYC and report from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade all morning.

My parade memories start in the 80's ... driving from where I grew up in northern NJ into the city on Thanksgiving mornings. We would park in the Port Authority bus station and walk up 42nd street, hang a left onto Broadway and get close to Times Square to catch glimpse of the parade as it went by. You might not remember, but that area wasn’t exactly the "Disneyland" it is today back then. My dad would say, "Keep your head down, look at the street. Don’t read the movie marquees. I don’t want to have to explain to you what those words mean." Please. I was more worried about the giant alligators I knew where lurking in the sewers to care about what some sleazy adult theater had to say to me.

It was at the parade in 1986 that I learned how to string together colorful groupings of curse words. That was the year the Mets beat the Red Sox in the World Series and the 'Amazin's' were on floats rolling down the street. I think Mookie Wilson got the worst heckles from the crowd of Yankee fans across the street.

The titanic balloons marching down the streets are something you have to see in person to believe. My favorite was Superman, but during one year his hand got ripped off in the wind. It came marching down the block a few minutes later to the raucous cheers. Kermit and Bullwinkle are always crowd favorites, and I think I remember Underdog, too. I’m not sure if those balloons will get up this year, because it looks like it will turn breezy later in the morning. Winds of over 23 mph or gusts over 34 mph will force organizers to ground the big inflatables, and it may reach that threshold Thursday morning. The Balloons have only been grounded once... so history is on our side!

I always look forward to seeing the final person in the parade, Santa. It means two things if you are in attendance. One: Christmas shopping is officially underway, and Two: Time to start the hectic sprint to your car through the 'Mad Max-like' crowd of people doing the same in the below-freezing temperatures. Good times!

At least this time I’m on the front line, and I’ll have my kids in tow. I can’t wait to show them the massive scale of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Hey, see ya out there.

Morning Express with Robin Meade airs Monday through Friday at 6 a.m. ET on HLN.  Like the show on Facebook, follow Bob Van Dillen on Twitter: @BobVanDillen.

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