Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Wiki
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Wiki

Barney the Dinosaur is the main character of Barney & Friends, a children's television series aimed at viewers aged 1 to 8, who was created by Sheryl Leach and is owned by HiT Entertainment. He is a purple anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus rex who conveys educational messages through songs and small dance routines with a friendly, optimistic attitude. His show aired on PBS from April 6, 1992, to November 2, 2010 before his PBS show, he had a direct-to-video series, Barney and the Backyard Gang that premiered in 1988, and is rumored to be rebooted soon. A stuffed-animal character who comes to life through children's imaginations, Barney is known for quoting many things as being "super-dee-duper" and for his signature closing song "I Love You," set to the tune of "This Old Man." Despite being a carnivorous-type dinosaur, Barney likes many different foods, from peanut butter and jelly to fruits and vegetables. As his show progressed, he was joined by fellow dinosaur characters Baby Bop, B.J., and Riff.

History with the Macy's Parade

The ever-popular purple people-pleaser was first represented in the Macy's Parade just 2 years after his television debut. As part of the pre-parade entertainment, he, Baby Bop and B.J. performed "If You're Happy & You Know It." That same year, a giant 58-foot tall balloon, requiring 20 gallons of paint, made its parade debut.

The balloon suffered troubles during it's debut appearance in 1994, where it's leg was torn open shortly after his NBC appearance. The damages were however fixed, and Barney flew in the 1995 Parade without damages. The balloon would fly in 1996, and in 1997, his most well known appearance. During the route, Barney was delayed due to the Quik Bunny balloon struggling to get off the ground. The Quik Bunny took Barney's spot, in front of the Barney's Great Adventure float. Barney instead took Quik Bunny's spot, behind the Westward Ho! Wagon. Then came Times Square, the winds were fierce, and Barney was struggling to stay still. Some handlers had to lay down on the road to make it steady, but then, came trouble...

A gust of wind shoved the balloon into a lamppost, causing it to receive a tear in it's side. The balloon was then quickly deflated, as the balloon had to be pulled from the lineup. The balloon also revived a bunch of holes due to the NYPD stabbing the balloon with knives to free the helium. After that, the handlers had to handle other balloons, and Barney was sidelined from the event. On NBC, footage of his 1994 appearance was shown, and 1997 was done and over with.

Barney returned to the parade in 1998 without any incident, and he would continue until 2002, when the original balloon was retired, making a total of nine appearances.

In 2003, Barney was brought to life in the form of a brand-new giant helium balloon. Marching to the music of his own horn, Barney keeps the beat dressed in a blue and gold drum major's hat and carrying a 17-foot long brass bugle as he marched down Broadway on Parade day. He was the first giant balloon in the 2003 Parade, and the balloon only made the mandatory three appearances, soon being retired after the 2005 Parade, most likely due to his foot ripping that year. With the show being cancelled in 2010, as well as the franchise as a whole's fade into obscurity, a new Barney balloon is unlikely to be produced in the near future.

Other Appearances

In addition to appearing as a balloon, Barney's costumed counterpart would appear on various occasions. As stated above, he and his friends served as a pre-parade act in the 1994 Parade. Over the next five years, Barney would appear on six floats, ranging from a circus center ring to a multi-tiered Christmas wonderland. A separate article for these floats can be read here.

As part of the Parade's 85th anniversary, the magicians at the Parade Studio would create a brand-new float, entitled Hats Off To Our Heritage, featuring past Parade directors Robin Hall and Jean McFaddin. Joining the two merry-makers were costumed counterparts of character balloons, past and present. Among these characters was Barney, who rode in the center of the float as he waved to his many fans along the Parade route.

This appearance marked Barney's final association with the Parade.


  • Barney's 1997 appearance went viral in 2013, when footage of the accident was posted to YouTube titled Thanksgiving '97. The day Barney was killed.

See also