I’ve been looking in more detail at the event and dissecting the elements of its lifespan. What I’ve recently found out is the two major setbacks of the parade; in 1929 the stock market crashed and New York was in an economic crisis that halted many businesses. Many people went jobless and with the parade, people did not know whether it was still being held or not. Surprisingly Macy’s announced that the parade will still be taking place on Thanksgiving Day. To many people this seemed strange as the country was in a very bad financial state. The parade took place as planned and was even bigger than the previous years with 10 balloons being released instead of 5 from the previous year. Macy’s even increased the prize money for the balloons from $100 to $500. This could be part of the flipside to the parade, the political innuendo behind the event and the company’s role within Manhattan.
The second major setback was during World War II. Macy’s announced that they will be donating all the balloon components and scrap rubber parts from floats and other parade elements to the government due to the shortage of rubber and steel in the war. The parade was held off for 3 years (1942-1944).
I am working on the main timeline drawing and adding these into it, alongside the other drawings I am finishing up as well. Here is a snapshot of the progress:
I’ve found this video on the making process of the balloons and will be documenting this (maybe in a set of drawings) for the portfolio ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaNXJfQdLks ). It is really interesting and is pretty similar to how I’ve been making models before this.
As for contacting the Macy’s Parade Studio in New Jersey, I am still finding the proper contact to email or call them (there is none online, only the address for the warehouse). If I can’t find any I might make a visit nonetheless to the studio, apparently many people did before, as seen on their Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Macys-Parade-Studio/231756386866847 ). I’m looking into other avenues to explore the context of my project; looking at exploring Tony Sarg (first designer of the gigantic balloons), seeing how I can look into his working methods in more detail.