Mount Pleasant Magazine Nov/Dec 2023

20 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www.MountPl easantPodcas t . com Whether in person or on screen, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a favorite since 1924, ushering in the holiday season and delighting the young and old with an assortment of colorful floats, passionate performances and giant, soaring balloons bearing the shapes of beloved characters. Many dedicated people are the key to this parade remaining a success for almost a century, including, more recently, one of our own Mount Pleasant families. In 2005, Jane Yager-Baumrind, who was living in New Jersey at the time, got introduced to a new way to spend Thanksgiving Day — in New York City, as part of an iconic holiday spectacle. The suggestion came from Sid Hamburger, a longtime parade participant whose daughter was friends with Jane’s daughter. According to Jane, Sid asked a group of local moms if they wanted to be “balloon handlers” in the parade – never mind that the moms didn’t have a clue what that meant. “It was 10 of us, all moms from town. We had no training and no idea what to do. Our balloon was Garfield, and we were all on the street like, what are we doing?! It was cold with a mix of rain and snow,” Jane recalled with a chuckle. “Then the sandbags were gone, and the balloon rose into the air.” After that first parade experience, Jane, who had participated without her husband Michael that year, knew Flying High Meet the Mount Pleasant Family in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade BY DEN I SE K . JAMES feature The c rew wi th f l oat i n New Yor k Ci t y. Photo prov i ded.