We’ve been preparing for this moment for over a month now, and it finally arrived. The Sonic The Hedgehog balloon made its grand return to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade earlier today.
Now, it is worth clarifying that Sonic is not the only balloon to be at the parade. In fact, he’s just part of a massive line of marching bands, floats, music performers, and other balloons. In fact, as you can see from this official picture from Nickelodeon, Sonic saw the back of SpongeBob and Gary the entirety of the parade. A couple of floats and a marching band were in between the 2 balloons.
This year, the winds were calm and the clouds were nowhere to be seen. We were able to spot Sonic 4 times over the course of his 2-hour parade route journey through New York City. Global News was the first to get a camera on the balloon, and it had probably the best shot of the balloon. He was seen on CBS shortly afterwards.
It is worth noting that the parade isn’t consistently moving for the entire 3 hours that it takes place. When the front of the parade starts to reach its final destination at Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square, music and Broadway performances will occur at said location and the parade comes to a halt for a few minutes.
The huge length of the parade, combined with the stop and go nature of the parade, means that balloons further back in the parade line will be making very late appearances. And unfortunate for Sonic this year, he was in the latter half of the parade line. It took an entire hour for Sonic to reach the next cameras along the route.
By this point, Sonic didn’t have much more time left in his parade route journey. And there were only a couple of musical performances remaining, so the impatient little hedgehog wouldn’t have to wait for long.
After 20 minutes, Sonic made his final approach towards Herald Square, and the parade route’s end. A marching band performed for the crowd, then a music performance, but Sonic was up next.
If the location wasn’t obvious enough, this is where NBC’s broadcast of the parade takes place. So, Sonic could be easily seen in the background of NBC’s broadcast during the performances.
Then, at long last, Sonic arrived. You may be surprised to hear, however, that Splash Hill was not heard during NBC’s broadcast. Sonic Colors Ultimate was promoted, along with the Sonic movie, but an orchestral Reach For The Stars was picked to be the background music for Sonic’s segment.
Once Sonic moved on, there wasn’t much left of the parade. In fact, it was all over in about half an hour later. You see, the first half of the parade is usually themed around Thanksgiving and autumn. The second half of the parade, which included Sonic, is themed around Christmas to signify the arrival of the holiday season. So, the parade ends with the arrival of Santa Claus.
So, there you have it. Sonic has officially made his return to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. It is too early to say if he will return next year, but if 10 years ago is any indicator, it’s not out of the question. Even in 2012 and 2013, the Sonic balloon made an appearance. So it’s very possible for a 2022 appearance.
But, for now, I think a lot of Sonic fans are just happy to see the Blue Blur back at the parade at all. Just a few months ago, it wasn’t even known that this was going to happen. And it has been almost a decade since the Sonic balloon last appeared. So, while the future of the Sonic balloon may not be set in stone yet, there’s absolutely no harm in appreciating the present.