An Interview with the Designer Behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Magic

As a lifelong New Yorker, I’ve been to my share of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades–I can’t say that I ever spent too much time contemplating how the spectacular balloons get from the drawing board to the actual parade.

As the niece of a former theater set designer and the wife of a graphic designer, I probably should have given it a little bit more thought.

It was incredibly exciting to have the chance to chat for a bit with John Piper, Vice President and Creative Director of the Macy’s Parade Studio.   John comes from a theater background, with a BFA in Theater Design and Technology from the University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign and as the former Direction of Technical Services at the George Potter Center for the Performing Arts in Michigan, and approaches the Macy’s parade extravaganza like he would a large-scale theatrical production.

From chatting with John via satellite, it is clear that he not only leads the creative team of artists, craftsmen and engineers responsible for the design and creation of the balloons and floats seen at the iconic Parade, but truly delights in being part of such an iconic New York City treasure.

Along with my questions and his answers on the video, you can see exclusive footage from behind the scenes of the making of the brand new Thomas the Tank Engine balloon.




**Thank you to Fisher-Price f.**or making this interview possible


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