1989 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (found NBC broadcast of parade; 1989)

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Macy's Parade 1989 poster.jpg

The official poster for the 63rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Status: Found

Date found: 18 Dec 2019

Found by: Rewatch Classic TV, Applelol

The 1989 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was the 63rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was held on November 23rd, 1989, in New York City, and shown to viewers live on NBC that same day. It was hosted by Willard Scott, new co-host Deborah Norville of Entertainment Tonight fame, and ALF performed by Paul Fusco. Participating celebrities included the likes of New Kids on the Block, Melba Moore, Buddy Hackett, and Scott Bakula.


The 1989 parade was the third in its history that was affected by snow (the other parades being 1938 and 2014, with the latter having a snow-rain mix). In comparison to its predecessor, which had a whopping eight new balloons, the 1989 parade featured only one new balloon; the Bugs Bunny balloon, which made to celebrate the character's then upcoming 50th anniversary in 1990. When it came to parade day, however, things did not go to plan.

At the start, the Snoopy balloon's nose was punctured by a lamppost, which caused the Snoopy and Woodstock balloons to be removed from the parade. The second casualty was the Bugs Bunny balloon. The snow caused the sandbags on Bugs to slack, causing the 75-foot tall balloon to slowly turn over on its side. Eventually, the parade-director at the time, Jean McFaddin, was sent flying into the air as she was trying to hold down the Bugs balloon, with her also stating that there were camera guys around the balloon, implying footage of it exists. Bugs eventually was deflated and removed after the balloon's side was ripped open by a tree. Archived footage of the balloon's test flight was used for Bugs Bunny, while the Snoopy and Woodstock balloons' 1988 appearance was used in place of their live appearance on the NBC telecast.

The NBC coverage of the 1989 parade would also be noted for featuring the introduction of Deborah Norville as a co-host, taking over the slot Sandy Duncan held for the 1988 parade. Willard Scott returned for his third coverage, while both were joined by ALF.

Going a bit further back, as the parade went on, more balloons became the subject of accidents, without removal. The Pink Panther had its tail deflated, and its hand snagged a street light on Broadway, while the Quik Bunny balloon's drum was deflated. 1989 also marked the initial last flight of the Garfield balloon, before it was brought back in 1992, and became a mainstay throughout the early to late 1990s.


While almost all of NBC's parades since 1981 had been widely bootlegged, a few of which were in full, the 1989 NBC broadcast was one of the few broadcasts since 1980 that had not resurfaced in full. This was especially odd since it (like all the other parades during this time period) aired during a time when nearly everyone in North America had some form of home recording media, but few were willing to upload it online.

On September 8, 2015, YouTuber "FragglevisionReturns" under her Major League Pong Gods channel uploaded an incomplete copy of the NBC broadcast of the 1989 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This copy of the parade was edited at the taper's discretion, and thus was missing about 2/3 of the first hour, a marching band performance shortly after then, many of the commercials featured in the broadcast, and a substantial portion of the middle of the show. Some lost footage that wasn't from this copy could be found online through other sources, with miscellaneous other found clips including the new Bugs Bunny balloon inflation test and a marching band performance before the Nestlé Quik Bunny balloon.

In late 2018, it was discovered that a website called rewatchclassictv.com had a full copy of the 1989 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade via purchase.[1] This copy included all commercials and about 40-50 minutes of aforementioned missing footage from FragglevisionReturns' copy such as the other Broadway shows, the Bugs Bunny balloon inflation test, the new Paul Bunyan float, the Nestlé Quik Bunny balloon, and the Woody Woodpecker balloon.

On December 18, 2019, the same KING TV 5 broadcast was uploaded to YouTube and the Internet Archive, making it available in full after being lost for over 30 years.[2]


The 1989 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in full.

The inflation test of the new Bugs Bunny balloon.

Opelika High School marching band performance.

Jamestown High School marching band performance.

See Also

External Link