NYPD optimistic Macy's parade balloons will fly

NEW YORK - (AP) - It looks like the iconic balloons of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be allowed to take to the skies.

NYPD Chief of Patrol James Hall says Thursday's weather forecast "looks very good."

The characters that glide between Manhattan's skyscrapers can't lift off if sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts top 34 mph. That's because of city rules enacted after fierce winds in 1997 caused a Cat in the Hat balloon to topple a light pole and seriously injure a spectator.

The NYPD, the National Weather Service and Macy's representatives will make a final determination in the morning.

This year's balloons include SpongeBob Squarepants, Snoopy, Spider-Man and a 47-foot hot air balloon displaying the faces of characters from the classic film "The Wizard of Oz."

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