Happy Hippo is a long-running novelty balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

History with the Macy's Parade

The original Hippopotamus balloon first appeared in 1940 and carried the tradition of generic animal balloons appearing in the Parade at the time. The design was very basic, with the hippo bearing a toothy grin, and sporting a color scheme of green with pink polka-dots. Additionally, the balloon featured a flower-like ceinture, which wrapped around the balloon's body. The balloon was retired after 1941, and was very likely that it was donated to the military as part of the 650 pounds of rubber donated alongside many other balloons from that time.

60 years after the original balloon was retired, and to help celebrate the Parade's 75th Anniversary, Macy's recreated many of their classic balloons in the form of novelty balloons, with one being Happy Hippo. This version was nearly identical to the previous version, with the exception of the hippo being pink with magenta stripes, and supposedly being female (judging by the eyelashes). This version of the balloon was retired after 2006 but was featured one last time in the Macy's Parade pop-up exhibit that same year to coincide with the 80th Anniversary of the Parade. The balloon has yet to make another public appearance since.

Happy Hippo would later reappear in 2013 in the form of a brand-new balloon, to help promote that year's Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Orlando Resort. This balloon once again features a different color scheme, with it being purple and eliminating the polka-dots altogether. This balloon also featured a bow decorated with Christmas holly, instead of the flower ceinture. This balloon was retired from the main Parade in 2013, but returned two years later in 2015 and 2016, but was retired that same year. It made appearances in the Macy's Holiday Parade until 2016, where the balloon would be used as a pre-parade performance. The balloon has yet to make another appearance.

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