Inside a warehouse in Moonachie, New Jersey, where gingerbread men and nutcrackers line the walls, live two massive turkeys, a larger-than-life robot, a dragon, Pikachu, and Spongebob Squarepants.
While this isn't Santa's North Pole workshop, it might be the closest thing in the world to it. The Macy's Parade Studio, where a group of workers build the floats, balloons, and costumes that are on display during the Thanksgiving Day Parade, devotes itself to the holiday season 365 days a year.
A majority of the team's workload is spent on the famed parade, which happens in New York City every year on Thanksgiving morning. Started in 1924 by Macy's store employees, many of whom were immigrants, the parade was meant to be something for their friends and family members to enjoy in their new home. That was more than 90 years ago, and the tradition is still alive and well.
We took a tour of the studio at the height of their Thanksgiving parade prep. John Piper, VP of the Macy's Parade Studio, showed us how one incredible team puts all of the magic together.
Each parade float starts out as an idea, a sketch on a piece of paper.
Models are then made scaled to size; you can see them sitting on the table here. Hanging above are balloon models from past parades.
The studio has a library of books, mostly for children, that the artists use as a reference to help turn two-dimensional characters into real-life, 3D figures.
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