Tom Otterness’s Macy’s Day Parade Commission

Question: What’s the story behind the Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Tom Otterness: Yeah. Yeah. They came to me for Macy’s. They’d seem [were combined] on Broadway and thought, oh, this looks like a balloon. I mean it and it’s true, this is like I do inflated forms so we dug around the studio, came up with an image, I’d thought all this Humpty Dumpty image would be good. After he left the studio I remember going, oh, upside down, you know. I’m turned in the midst of falling, it seems to make sense with the balloon. It was great. They’ve got it like a Toyland out in New Jersey and I love going out there, you know, maybe a hundred people working on this bizarre balloons and models. You start with a small model and they scale up from there. And as they saw this, you have to change your design to fit the technology of what balloons will do and can do, so that was exciting and… We actually went out to South Dakota for the test flight, so we manage, you know, walk with the balloon out there and then they took me out in a balloon ride around South Dakota. And then at Macy’s day when the parade came… we, yeah, it was fabulous. It’s like a million people and just on sight, and then the idea that you’re getting into 50 million homes out that to me that was like I was saying about trying to find avenues for public work. I thought that was, that was public work, to get into TV sets in 50 million homes. That’s how I first knew New York was to watch, you know, in Kansa was to watch the Macy’s Day Parade, so I knew what that felt like, you know. That was… That was a real deal, you know.

Tom Otterness went with Humpty Dumpty.

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