The Thanksgiving Day Parade is alive and well — at Schlegel

25 Nov

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade might be going virtual this year, but for the staff and students at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School, it was alive and well earlier this week.

Inspired by Melissa Sweet’s picture book Balloons Over Broadway about the puppeteer who invented the parade’s signature balloons, Schlegel Rd. librarian Jamie Palmer decided she wanted to create a parade of ballons of her own.

So last week she sent home a note to parents, encouraging every child in the school to create a balloon depicting a book character. She planned to make a few of her own, and was hoping that she’d receive at least a few others.

Dog Man and Cat Kid

Last Friday, the balloons started coming in. First just a few. Then five or six more, then a dozen. By the end of the day, the library’s floor and tables were covered with balloons, so many that staff members had to watch where they walked lest they step on Dog Man or Harry Potter.

By Monday afternoon, there were 70 ballons ready to parade down the hallway outside the Schlegel library.

Students from every grade level participated, and the creativity was stunning. I was delighted by how many ways students had found to use their balloons — as wings, feet, tails, ears, eyes, noses, as separate body parts, sometimes blown up, other times deflated, sometimes twisted. One even used a long orange balloon as a scarf wrapped around Penguin from Salina Yoon’s Penguin and Pinecone series.

It took Palmer almost 7 hours to string up each balloon into three separate mini-parades. The result was stunning. And it was fun to see the reactions from teachers and students as they passed by the parades. Some teachers even brought their whole classes through for a tour.

I tried to take photos of all the parade entries, so check out these individual ones, then click through the gallery below. I think you’ll be impressed, too.

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One Response to “The Thanksgiving Day Parade is alive and well — at Schlegel”

  1. Pat Sweetland November 25, 2020 at 6:11 pm #

    What an awesome idea! I read that book to a class last year around this time! Interesting story even for me.
    Sounds like it was a great success. As “Pete the Cat” says “It’s different but it’s still good!”

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