NEW YORK — Alright, it wasn’t Godzilla reincarnated – but it was really dangerous.
Strong wind gusts tearing across 5th Avenue made Barney the Purple Dinosaur violently twist and buck, as brave handlers did their best to strong-arm the massive parade balloon.
Reader’s Digest says the winds peaked at 43 miles per hour – faster than a tropical storm.
It was Thanksgiving 1997 – The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Millions were watching from the New York City sidewalks.
Many more watched from home…a quiet morning for families to enjoy some wholesome holiday fun.
Then – Barney went rogue.
He reared up and lurched toward his handlers who struggled for several minutes to maintain their grip on his ropes before the big purple dinosaur was finally brought to its knees – and ripped apart on live TV.
Barney was one of several balloons to meet its end that day.
The New York Times reported Pink Panther and The Nestlé Quick Bunny suffered similar fates.
In all seriousness though, the massive balloons can be incredibly dangerous in windy conditions. Several people did get hurt.
This year, organizers were originally worried wind gusts would ground the balloons. In the end, the balloons were allowed to fly — just a little lower — for the 2019 parade.
Someone’s captured the 1997 chaos – clearly on a flip-phone:
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